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A Look Around VIM – The Impact Of Environment On Rehabilitation

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Before VIM even opened the doors to the UK’s newest high-tech neurorehabilitation clinic, there was a clear vision of what the inside of the clinic would look and feel like.

Creating an accessible and welcoming space was high on the agenda – we wanted to create a feeling, not just a look, and worked within well-studied principles to create a space that will positively impact the physical and emotional wellbeing of our clients.

Creating A Space For Body And Mind

Using the word ‘clinic’ for our rehabilitation centre almost doesn’t feel right as we have created an environment to deliver neurotherapy that doesn’t feel like a typical clinical setting.

Walking into VIM you will immediately notice how different it feels to other rehabilitation clinics, and that’s despite there being lots of high-tech robotic therapy devices on show. The overall atmosphere is light, calm, and conducive to productivity.

Most of our clients are wheelchair users or have some sort of physical disability so the centre is fully accessible with an easy-to-use adapted lift to our mezzanine gym area, and disabled parking right by the front doors. Being inclusive and making various adaptations hasn’t stopped us from creating a stylish-looking space.

An example of how inclusive design can look great is the changing space and bathroom we installed for clients. The space was designed and installed by Motionspot, a specialist provider of accessible spaces that prides itself on making accessibility beautiful.

Everything inside our centre has been fully considered to ensure the environment feels great to our clients. From restful colours on the walls to having the ability to control the temperature and ventilation adequately.

We’re also big fans of indoor plants! Several of our windows look out onto trees, but bringing more greenery inside was important. Houseplants are proven to positively influence mood and some varieties can even help with air purification!

Watch our video below for a walk-through of VIM, including a look at our changing space and bathroom. If you are in the area, we also welcome you to come and take a look around by appointment.

Can The Environment Impact Rehabilitation?

Creating a space that would look good wasn’t the only motivation for being selective when we chose a location and the interiors of our clinic: there is evidence to suggest that environmental characteristics do play an important role in healthcare facilities.

The indoor environment can either positively or negatively affect a patient’s recovery and rehabilitation. Environmental factors are also directly linked to a person’s overall feeling of wellness.

As mentioned, you will notice how light our spaces are, making use of large windows to ensure all areas receive natural daylight. Natural daylight in indoor spaces has been shown to help boost mood and increase productivity and motivation – particularly relevant in a neurorehabilitation setting where our clients do need to push themselves to meet their therapy goals.

An interesting study published in 2018, demonstrated that patients in hospital beds that were next to a window and receiving more natural light, did have shorter hospital stays than those patients situated further away from the window. Fascinating stuff!

Certain conditions in the physical environment can also help aid the brain repair itself through a process called neuroplasticity. This study on the environment and its influence on neurological activity concluded: “Given the potential for patient activity to drive brain reorganization and repair, the physical environment should be considered an active factor in neurological rehabilitation and recovery.”

It has been recognised for a long time now that healing is not just a matter of fixing the physical body, but a holistic process that requires positive input from all areas, including the physical environment. Exploring the Concept of Healing Spaces is an interesting read for anyone interested in the factors of healing environments.

The concept for our healing space is also present in our services too – we focus on therapies that improve daily life and function in the home environment for clients, as the ability to carry out simple daily tasks is one of the key indicators of quality of life.

We view the environment we have created as part of our service, we’re here to help clients achieve their recovery goals and understand that recovery goes far beyond just physical therapy.

Ready To Start Your Neurorehabilitation Journey?

If you would like to come and experience VIM for yourself and take a look around our clinic, please get in touch or book your first consultation.

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