Information for patients and families

We have provided answers to frequently-asked questions regarding our current rehabilitation services across Waterloo and Wellington.

Please click here for further information on accessing current rehabilitative care services with partner hospitals and health services providers. 

For more information on the rehabilitation review, please contact Dana Brunskill at

Why do we need to change the way rehabilitative care is delivered in Waterloo Wellington?

A comprehensive review of stroke and rehabilitative care  in Waterloo Wellington revealed there are three significant issues affecting access to, and quality of rehabilitative care currently provided in Waterloo Wellington. Specifically:

  1. Access to standardized care and best practices is not implemented consistently across the Waterloo Wellington area for stroke rehabilitative care;
  2. There is a perceived lack of rehab services and capacity in the community to manage the complex needs of patients; and
  3. The current lack of integration between health service providers compromises our patients’ recovery process when transitioning between care settings. 

By redesigning, developing and delivering a new rehabilitative care system in Waterloo Wellington, patients and families in our community will receive integrated, evidence based care that is more effective, efficient and patient-centred. This is the right thing to do for our patients, clients and those who rely on our system to provide them with high quality rehabilitative care. 

What rehabilitative services will this affect?

The review affects the following streams of care provided in hospitals across Waterloo Wellington:

  • Stroke care
  • Cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) care
  • Care for the frail elderly and medically complex
  • Musculo-skeletal care
  • Acquired Brain Injury

What will a more effective rehabilitative care system mean for residents?

Waterloo Wellington Regional Rehabilitative Care Program's transition is about creating a local rehabilitative care system that puts patients first. By redesigning, integrating and delivering a new rehabilitative care system, patients and families will receive more effective access to care that ensures best practices across the continuum of services regardless of geography or where care is received.

With a more effective rehabilitative care system, patients can expect:

  • Improved patient satisfaction; 
  • Improved quality and outcomes through the delivery of standardized, evidence-based care;
  • Enhanced community re-integration;
  • More seamless transitions between care settings; and
  • Most importantly, it will result in improved quality of life for rehabilitative care patients and clients in Waterloo Wellington.

How will this change rehabilitative care in local hospitals?

Research shows when patients with similar care needs are clustered together to receive their care from experts in their specific condition, they have better outcomes. The evidence is particularly strong for stroke. Best practice indicates all stroke patients should receive their rehabilitative care on a designated stroke unit, with staff whose primary focus is providing stroke rehabilitative care.

In re-designing the Waterloo Wellington Rehabilitative Care System, this “centre of excellence” model was balanced with the need to provide care as close to home as possible.  A main goal of the rehabilitative care system redesign is to provide patients with the right care, in the right place at the right time. This may mean realignment of where rehabilitative care is provided – particularly in the hospital setting.