David Whitten is a Neuro Physiotherapist and Therapy Lead at The Marbrook Centre – Cambridgeshire, a specialist rehabilitation Centre for those who have experienced a life changing moment such as a Brain injury, Stroke or Spinal Cord Injury. www.marbrook.co.uk
Goal setting is vital
Creating goals in collaboration with your therapist allows for a clear pathway to plan your treatment and ensure it is focused on the goals you want to achieve.
Set clear expectations
From the start of your rehabilitation journey talk to your therapist about your expectations. These conversations can be hard but it is not productive or fair on you or your family to be working towards unrealistic expectations.
Your rehabilitation should be centred on you
You should be the centre of all treatment and rehabilitation. Planning should be focused on what you want to achieve.
Use outcome measures
It is important to be able to measure the success of any intervention, whether it is measuring your balance, your ability to care for yourself or your perception of your health.
Celebrate your achievement and progression
Even the smallest positive changes that may seem trivial to others might mean the world to you. It is important you and your family acknowledge and celebrate success.
Allow for good and bad days
We all have our ups and downs and these can be even more evident within neurological rehabilitation. On bad days it is important to remember the progress you have already made.
Let your therapist get to know you and your family
Your therapist will be much more effective if they know about you, your views and your beliefs. Building a rapport with your therapist will also help to make rehabilitation more engaging.
Rehabilitation should be fun
For many people rehabilitation is going to be a long journey so try to work with your therapist to make your rehabilitation as fun as possible.
Downtime is essential
Many people will be desperate for continuous non-stop rehabilitation and others will be sick of the sight of their therapists. It is essential to have a break from rehabilitation even if only for an afternoon to recharge and refocus.
Collaborative working is the bed rock of rehabilitation.
All members of the care and therapy teams are crucial to your recovery. Clear and open communication ensures everyone pulling in the same direction to achieve the best results for you.