Acute treatment and subsequent rehabilitation
Some of our patients are admitted to the clinic due to accidents, neurological disorders, cancer that leads to neurological complications, strokes or cerebral haemorrhages. The patients are transferred directly from acute care hospitals to the rehabilitation unit. If the central or peripheral nervous system has been damaged, subsequent neurological rehabilitation after acute treatment is advisable. It serves to reinitiate functions that have been damaged and, if this is not possible, to compensate for them or replace them with aids.
Almost all the patients who are referred to Geesthacht by other acute care hospitals complete their early rehabilitation period here as well. At the time of their transfer to the rehabilitation centre, they are entirely dependent on nursing care. Once the patient has completed the early rehabilitation phase, the follow-up treatment involves ensuring the best possible reintegration into daily life. Initiating measures for the reintegration of patients into their schools or careers is part of this phase.
Patients who come to the rehabilitation centre from home
A second large group of patients consists of young people who suffer from damage to the nervous system either from birth or due to an event that occurred a long time ago. This group of patients usually comes to the clinic from home, in order to achieve a specific therapeutic goal that has been decided in advance. The therapeutic goals can vary considerably from one patient to another and they are based on the individual desires of the
The therapy goals of each individual patient are the centre of our focus. An experienced team of physicians, nursing staff, therapists and educators fine-tunes the goals together with the patient or the parents, checks them regularly and adapts them as necessary according to the progress
The offer is adapted to suit the particular needs of children, adolescents and young adults. For example, family members of patients can also be accommodated at the clinic, either in rooming-in units or in family rooms. Remedial teachers and child-care workers work hand in hand with the nursing staff in the various stations. They provide special age-appropriate independence training such as getting dressed, and they also offer an activity programme for the therapy-free hours.
Breathing, swallowing, secretion management
In order to minimise the risk of aspiration pneumonia or asphyxiation when swallowing larger pieces of food or secretion, we check the protective reflexes of the throats of early rehabilitation patients endoscopically and make a decision as to whether tracheal cannulas can be unblocked or removed.
If the patient’s coughing reflex is inadequate for them to cough up secretions or particles of food, which, due to a swallowing disorder, could result in these ending up in the lungs, we support the patient with a coughing aid.
Secretion management is carried out by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, respiratory therapists, speech therapists and nursing staff.
After the early rehabilitation phase has been completed, the treatment of the patients can continue in the clinic seamlessly.
Standing, walking, running
In order to get the patients back on their feet, we employ a selection of therapies that build up on one another. We mobilise the patients in their wheelchairs as soon as possible. We minimise spasticity with baclofen or Botulinum toxin. Besides classical physiotherapy, braces and redression casts, Motomed and treadmill training, Lokomat® training is also employed. “Whoever wants to learn to walk must walk” is the basis for this.
From a technological point of view, the Lokomat® is a walking therapy robot that moves the legs in a physiological walking motion by means of two computer-controlled gait orthoses. On the one hand, they mimic the gait pattern and on the other hand, they adjust to suit the capabilities of the individual patients with the help of comprehensive sensors and drive technology. The Lokomat® makes anything from completely passive walking to active walking possible, with or without counterweights.
The effectiveness of Lokomat® therapy has been affirmed in many studies.
Perception, touching, grasping
Brain damage often results in limited functioning of the arms or the hands. This frequently leads to severe limitation with regard to daily activities and in some cases, such activities are impossible.
In order to train the functioning of the hands and arms in a targeted manner, HELIOS Clinic Geesthacht has developed the “grasping” area of competence. Besides classical ergotherapy, forced use therapy, Botulinum toxin injections and the supply of splints, we also offer special training in order for the patients to regain the use of their arms and hands.
Tasting, swallowing, eating
Children with eating disorders can be treated at HELIOS Clinic Geesthacht. This includes children who eat poorly or not at all.
We have developed a family-oriented programme for such patients, in which the parents are incorporated into the treatment.
Initiation of communication
For patients with speech and cognitive disabilities, we have developed programmes aimed at the initiation of communicative abilities.