Community-based rehab services welcomed by residents and expats
Shanghai residents are able to receive rehabilitation services near their homes as community health centers start to be equipped with high-end appliances and rehabilitation robots and offer combined traditional Chinese and western therapy.
The first such facility, Dapuqiao Community Health Center in Huangpu District, has become a role model after passing a community-based rehabilitation service evaluation.
It is attracting nearby residents and even expatriates for rehabilitation training.
"The convenient service is welcomed by elderly people who suffered a stroke, people who had bone and joint surgery, children with cerebral palsy and autism, office workers with back and neck pain, and people with sports injury. These are our main patients," said Jin Ying, director of the health center.
"Rehabilitation can effectively help patients improve their physical functions after surgery. Some patients see improvement after only one or two training courses."
In addition to traditional services like tuina, acupuncture and exercise instruction, the center has introduced AI-based rehabilitation robots. They can assess each patient's condition and give therapists guidance on rehabilitation plans as well as guide patients to move through treatment.
A 67-year-old man who suffered two strokes said he could stand steadily and walk better after only two training sessions. He practices leg exercises with the support of a lower limb robot.
"I can walk on the machine with the help of the robot and I feel my condition is improving," said the man, who suffered his second stroke in January this year. "I just live in a nearby residential complex. It is so convenient for me to come here for training."
Therapists said they are guiding the patient to develop proper standing and walking postures and helping him practice on the machine.
The golden rehabilitation period for people who suffered a stroke is the first year, during which they can regain much function and mobility if they receive proper training under professional guidance, doctors said.
Karim Kuvatov from Kazakhstan visited the center for the first time on Thursday. His friend recommended it to him after learning he was suffering from elbow pain.
After a check-up, therapist Li Dongfeng diagnosed tennis elbow and offered shockwave therapy for Kuvatov, who said the pain had eased.
"Shockwave therapy is a rehabilitation treatment effective for tennis elbow and other joint fatigue and pain. Many patients can receive very positive effects after several treatments," Li said.
Center officials said there is a four-tier rehabilitation network in Huangpu. Patients with acute conditions can receive surgery or treatment at city-level Ruijin Hospital and then be transferred to Ruijin's rehabilitation branch.
They can then receive nearby training at Dapuqiao Community Health Center and its service spots in the neighborhood.
"For the elderly who are too old or bedridden, we can send professionals to their homes with portable equipment for treatment and rehabilitation. We encourage elderly people to go to the community center or service spots, as visit is a kind of practice and rehabilitation in itself," said Jin, the center's director.
"Rehabilitation is extremely important to improve their condition, give better life quality and prevent and control other complications," she said.