The field of healthcare rehabilitation is very vast and expansive. In traditional societies, most commonly relatable to the Orient and Africa, there is the ages-old cultural belief that it is the duty of children to take care of their parents when they age.
On the contrary, for us in the west, healthcare rehabilitation has emerged as a specialized branch of healthcare because of the emphasis our society places on independence of the individual.
Younger generations of people are not expected to spend entire years, as may be the case in some families, to look after people of their previous generations who may be in need of medical care. It is on this outlook towards life of our society that healthcare rehabilitation has come into being.
However, it is also possible that younger people could also be in need of healthcare rehabilitation. Even such people are put in the care of healthcare providers which offer these services.
Branching out as a fully developed field of healthcare, healthcare rehabilitation has many specializations. These are broadly the areas in which healthcare rehabilitation is offered:
General rehabilitation of some or another kind is a primary aspect of healthcare rehabilitation. Those in need of this kind of care typically include patients who have lost their ability to carry out day-to-day tasks such as talking, walking, brushing, eating, etc. many a time, depending on the nature of the ailment, rehabilitation could include therapies, exercises and other activities aimed at bringing in some element of mobility in the patient.
This kind of healthcare rehabilitation could also include taking care to revive the patient's memory, when patients with diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are admitted for healthcare rehabilitation.
An area in which a skilled and experienced nurse is appointed to take full time care of the patient; skilled nursing is meant for those people who are in need of constant attention. Most hospitals have this branch of healthcare rehabilitation. The major criteria for this kind of care is that the patient should be in need of constant medical vigilance, and the caregiver should be available 24 hours a day at hand. An example of this kind of healthcare rehabilitation is patients, old or young, with life-limiting diseases, conditions or accidents, who could be in need of this kind of healthcare rehabilitation.
Another type of healthcare rehabilitation could be hospices. A hospice differs from a hospital in a basic way, whereby hospitals could offer any kind of treatments, but a hospice is mostly meant for end-life care. Very less medication is given to patients in this kind of healthcare rehabilitation because of the condition of the patient, whereby there is little hope of any chance of survival or a revival. The aim of healthcare rehabilitation in a hospice is to offer palliative care to make the reminder of the patient's life as comfortable as it can get in the circumstances. What hospices do is to take steps in healthcare rehabilitation that aim at making the patient lead a peaceful life to the extent possible, in the given situation.
However, it needs to be noted that although these are the heads under which healthcare rehabilitation is generally carried out; there is no strict benchmarking of these specializations. There could be overlaps in these.