Rehabilitation at Markham Stouffville Hospital

If you require rehabilitation, our program at Markham Stouffville Hospital provides a holistic, integrated collection of services designed to promote quality of life for you and your family. By taking an interdisciplinary approach, we are able to work with and support you to maximize your physical, psychological, cognitive, spiritual, and social well-being.

Rehabilitation is for people who have lost abilities that they need for daily life. Some of the most common causes include: injuries and trauma, including burns, fractures, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries; stroke; severe infections; major surgery; side effects from medical treatments, such as from cancer treatments; certain birth defects and genetic disorders; developmental disabilities; and chronic pain, including back and neck pain.

Types of Rehabilitation Programs

We offer two types of rehabilitation programs for patients that are medically stable and able to participate in daily sessions: short-term rehabilitation and the Restorative and Reactivation Program. Short-term rehabilitation accommodates patients with variety of diagnoses.

When you receive rehabilitation, you often have a team of different health care providers. They will work with you to figure out your needs, goals, and treatment plan. The types of treatments that may be in a treatment plan include:

  • Assistive devices, which are tools, equipment, and products that help people with disabilities move and function
  • Cognitive rehabilitation therapy to help you relearn or improve skills such as thinking, learning, memory, planning, and decision making
  • Music or art therapy to help you express your feelings, improve your thinking, and develop social connections
  • Nutritional counselling
  • Occupational therapy to help you with your daily activities
  • Physical therapy to help your strength, mobility, and fitness
  • Recreational therapy to improve your emotional well-being through arts and crafts, games, relaxation training, and animal-assisted therapy
  • Speech language therapy to help with speaking, understanding, reading, writing, and swallowing
  • Treatment for pain
  • Vocational rehabilitation to help you build skills for going to school or working at a job

If you require a more specialized approach (e.g., stroke, acute brain injury diagnoses), the rehabilitation team will consider submitting an application for you to be transferred to external facilities like St. John’s Rehab, Providence Healthcare, or Bridgepoint Health. These facilities offer specialized rehabilitation services.

If you have medical issues such as chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, etc., our Restorative and Reactivation Program may be able to assist you to restore your functioning so you can return home safely. These programs run for two to three weeks, depending on your personal goals and progress.

You may benefit from both individual and group therapy (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and recreational therapy). You can actively participate in these sessions as well as have a lunch and dinner in the lounge room in a group setting.

A patient flow coordinator/discharge planner of the unit along with the rehabilitation team will collaboratively work with you and your family members on safe discharge planning. They will also address any concerns with changes in your condition and care.

Integrated Stroke Unit

In January 2019, we opened the new Integrated Stroke Unit (ISU). On the new unit, patients experiencing a stroke have access to best practice stroke care provided by a team of professionals with expertise specifically in stroke.

An ISU provides both acute and rehabilitative care for patients during their inpatient stays following a stroke. The patient remains on the same unit, in the same bed, surrounded by key health team members there to help them through their acute and rehabilitation care. This allows for more timely assessment, management, seamless transitions, and consistency of care throughout their hospitalization and transition to the home/community.

Research shows that Stroke Unit care has some of the strongest evidence for improved patient outcomes. Those who suffer a stroke are more likely to survive, maintain their independence, and live at home one year post-stroke. Other benefits include a 30 per cent reduction in the likelihood of death and disability for men and women of any age with mild, moderate, or severe stroke. There are also fewer complications, earlier mobilization, and earlier recognition of pneumonia in stroke survivors.

The ISU model of care uses a coordinated interprofessional team approach for preventing stroke complications, preventing stroke recurrence, accelerating mobilization, and providing early rehabilitation therapy.

Members of the team include physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, therapeutic recreation specialists, social workers, pharmacists, and registered dietitians in addition to the patient and their family.