EMMA: Hi, I’m Emma, and welcome to the Cincinnati Children’s Cancer Rehabilitation Specialty Program.
I’m here to show you what to expect, and why our pediatric cancer rehabilitation specialty program is different from other inpatient rehabilitation programs.
RENEE’:Thanks Emma! Max is ready to get started.
EMMA: Great! Our cancer rehabilitation specialty program is located within one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation that has a nationally ranked pediatric cancer program, as well. In fact, we are the first in the WORLD to receive CARF accreditation as a Pediatric Cancer Rehabilitation Specialty Program!
As you know, there are many different types of cancer and the treatments you receive may be unique to you. Cancer and its treatments may affect you in different ways, making some things harder to do, like going to school or playing and having fun. That’s why we’re here!
We are going to help you to get you as strong and independent as possible so that you can more easily participate in these activities.
Now, let’s get started by meeting the team that will be supporting Max.
In addition to the physicians and nurses, there are many different people that make up the team that will be helping Max during his journey.
Our team is here to transition the focus of Max’s care to his rehabilitation needs. Working alongside you AND Max’s oncology team, we will collaborate to make the best decisions for Max to improve his independence. By coordinating with your inpatient oncology team, we will work together to make the best decisions for MAX. Your input is valued as part of the process.
MAX: Wow! That’s a lot of people!
LANCE: What kinds of things will the program help Max be able to do?
EMMA: Great question!
Sometimes the cancer and/or its treatments make some activities more difficult for Max to accomplish. Our environment is designed to help Max become more independent, active, and engaged in his activities of daily living. And, we will help YOU be more comfortable caring for Max.
Max may not have difficulty with all of these activities, but whatever challenges he is facing, our team will be there to help.
RENEE: This all sounds great, but Max hasn’t even started his treatment yet. Doesn’t rehab come after the treatment?
EMMA: Not always! We have found that inpatient rehabilitation can be helpful for patients at different points in their cancer care. For example:
Restorative Cancer Rehabilitation identifies existing functional challenges that resulted from cancer diagnosis or treatments and focuses on restoring function. An example may include a physical therapy program to improve safety while walking more independently.
Supportive Cancer Rehabilitation identifies existing functional challenges that resulted from cancer diagnosis or treatments and focuses on adaptations to promote independence. An example may include a modified diet and other strategies to improve safety with feeding and swallowing under the guidance of a speech language pathologist.
Palliative Cancer Rehabilitation identifies functional challenges resulting from cancer diagnosis or treatments in cases of advanced disease where the focus of rehabilitation is maintaining functional independence and quality of life. An example may include instruction from an occupational therapist on safe use of adaptive equipment such, as for bathing and dressing.