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What is Active Rehabilitation?

September 14, 2020


Active rehabilitation is the latest inpatient program launched at Runnymede Healthcare Centre. Also known as High Tolerance Short Duration (HTSD) rehab, it’s designed to benefit patients recovering from injury or surgery who can tolerate intensive, short-term therapy.

The program’s primary goals are to:

  • Assist, support and enhance patients’ abilities to perform normal daily activities to meet their fundamental needs
  • Maintain patients’ health and well-being
  • Provide patients with a safe bridge to home

After receiving treatment in acute care settings, patients often have reduced strength or diminished abilities. As a result, it’s often unsafe for them to be discharged directly back to the community. Active rehab supports patients along their recovery journey, with the goal of helping them resume their independence as quickly as possible.

Transitional plans are created for patients by expert healthcare providers who have a depth of experience in rehabilitative medicine. Here are the interprofessional team members at Runnymede who are most commonly involved in active rehab:

Physiotherapists use patient-centered exercise to:

  • Build patients’ strength and endurance
  • Increase patients’ flexibility and range of motion
  • Help patients regain mobility and autonomy in movement

Occupational therapists help patients regain their independence by:

  • Helping patients adapt to supportive devices like wheelchairs and walkers
  • Developing patients’ skills and understanding so they can perform everyday tasks like washing or dressing

Kinesiologists work alongside physiotherapists to:

  • Achieve patient-centered goals, supporting discharge plans
  • Apply exercise and movement science to promote health and wellbeing

Since patients undergoing active rehab can tolerate a more intense form of therapy, they are usually discharged within days or weeks of their admission. By contrast, patients in Runnymede’s Low Tolerance Long Duration (LTLD) rehab program – commonly called slow-stream rehab – need lower-intensity therapy and often have longer length of stays.

As the population grows and becomes older, demand for rehabilitation is surging. Since the active rehab program launched at Runnymede in February 2019, it’s been a tremendous success for the community, helping more than 700 patients regain their independence within a year.

In addition to meeting patients’ therapeutic needs, the program also reduces capacity pressures in the healthcare system. By providing inpatient therapy in a specialized setting, Runnymede helps rehabilitation patients access the care they need, when they need it, in an expert manner while facilitating the flow of patients from acute care.