The road to recovery needs the right focus, and that is why rehabilitation for COVID-19 patients is crucial. Many patients experience a variety of problems so much so that they find it difficult to function normally. On the other hand, if one has properly rehabilitated, an effective response is sure to come by.
But what exactly does rehabilitation after COVID-19 entail for the elderly? Well, a simple screening process, advice from a multidisciplinary expert team, evidence-based classes of intervention (exercise, practice, psychosocial support, and education particularly about self-management), and a range of tailored interventions for other problems.
Importance of Rehabilitation
It is important to rehabilitate COVID 19 patients to reduce complications associated with this condition and improve the health outcomes of the patients with severe cases of COVID 19. Elderly patients, and those with pre-existing health conditions, are more vulnerable to the effects of severe illness, thus, rehabilitation can be particularly beneficial for attaining their prior level of independence. Moreover, since there is a lack of hospital beds with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, patients are being discharged more rapidly than usual. In such a scenario, rehabilitation becomes even more important for gearing up the patients for discharge and ensuring the continuation of care.
Guidelines for COVID-19 Rehabilitation
COVID rehabilitation guidelines include helping the patients to move and walk as their body becomes quite weak after becoming affected by the virus. Continuous bed rest during the course of recovery can adversely affect the body’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems. The right route to take here is a ‘cognitive one’.
Cognitive rehabilitation after COVID includes seeing a rehabilitation physician or a primary care physician at the very least. There they can receive physical, occupational or speech therapy. Since being hospitalized for too long can lead to anxiety or depression, it is recommended to consult a psychologist to preventively tackle it.
It is advisable for the patients who have been suffering from COVID-19 or have just recovered from it, to engage in enjoyable and fun activities despite the fatigue experienced during the illness as it will help them to distract their mind from the constant worries. Another integral aspect during the rehabilitation of the patient is the role of the caregiver. The patient should feel connected to the person and only then the positive effects will start showing.
Effective Exercises That You Can Do
Patients recovering from COVID-19 experience a feeling of fatigue and exhaustion both physically and mentally. During the time of illness, patients might lose weight, strength and joints might become stiff. Hence, it is advisable for the patients to partake in COVID rehabilitation exercises which will help them to gain their strength back.
People with lung problems often cough and produce more phlegm (sputum) than usual. It is essential to remove sputum from your lungs to help you breathe more easily, prevent chest infections and reduce bouts of coughing. Leaving sputum in your chest can make your condition worse. The Active Cycle of Breathing Techniques (ACBT) is one of the COVID rehabilitation exercises that loosens and moves the spectrum from the airways of the patient. Exercises under ACBT include deep breathing exercises, the small long huff, the big short huff and breathing control.
Many patients also find it hard to move their limbs with the same strength like they used to before suffering from the illness. To address this, it is recommended for the patients to engage in various exercises rather than just sitting in front of the TV. The exercises in which the patients can indulge themselves are seated knee extension, where the patient has to lift their foot straight in the air horizontally and straighten their knee while sitting upright on a chair; and seated hip flexion where you have to march your legs with one knee up and down sitting on a chair.
There are many such COVID rehabilitation exercises such as shoulder press, bridging, standing leg exercises that can work for different individuals keeping in mind the pace at which they are recovering.
COVID Rehabilitation Programmes
People with severe COVID-19 infection need COVID rehabilitation programmes which includes post acute rehabilitation, COVID-19 community rehabilitation and Innovative Approaches to Providing Rehabilitation during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Seeing how dynamically the situation keeps changing, everyone is continuously working on giving their best in terms of providing rehabilitation care to the patients. The importance of cognitive rehabilitation should not be discouraged; not in the least bit - it helps redevelop in the patients the language, memory and other executive functions that have been disrupted during the illness.
Elderly home care should not be left out on either at this time. That is why we at Emoha are providing expert COVID care for the elderly that includes COVID test and vaccination assistance, isolation hubs across Delhi-NCR, regular care calls, and a lot more. For us, it is always #EldersFirst