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Prehab…A Matter of Life or Death?

Last Sunday I attended a memorial service for a frail elderly woman from my church community who had fallen while exiting the service two weeks ago and fractured her pelvis. She was admitted to the hospital and one week into her hospital stay, had a myocardial infarct and died. This scenario is all too familiar to those of us in healthcare and particularly rehab. She survived the fracture but her body wasn’t strong enough to handle all the added stresses of a typical hospitalization…something will fail.

Since 2004, the data has been streaming in on the benefits from a Prehab program to prepare seniors for a joint replacement. This is especially striking for frail elderly and those with other co-mobidities like diabetes, heart disease or lung disease. Research clearly demonstrates all the outcomes…strength, pain level, range of motion, speed of return to independent living, patient satisfaction, lower infection rate and readmits are improved when the client is physically and mentally ready. Research also shows that elderly clients, especially those with other medical issues, also benefit from Prehab therapy programs.

This data supports the need for wellness programs that promote strengthening, endurance, flexibility, and healthy lifestyles for all seniors, especially the frail elderly.

Who should you talk to today to help them prevent or survive their next fall?

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