Life Center offers info for patients during, after rehab

November 1, 2012 (CHICAGO)

For people with disabilities, the Life Center at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago offers more guidance.

Think of it as a cozy bookstore where all the resources are related to persons with disabilities, from magazines to music and much more.

Located on the first floor of RIC, the Life Center has been collecting various resources for more than 10 years.

" It expands all disability groups, all age groups both from female, male, young or old, and we're very much concerned on helping families. And we know that the person that may have the physical disability is not the only person that's been affected," said Kris Chichowski, director.


The one-of-its-kind center is specifically designed for people with physical disabilities.

"The primary education is for the patients, of course, who are housed here at the hospital at the RIC, so most of our programs are geared for our inpatients and our outpatients, and also at our day rehabilitation programs. But we do host a number of community events," said Chichowski.

Chichowski says the biggest challenge is the wealth of information available.

"They don't know where to start, and it can be really overwhelming when they come to the Life Center, they realize wow there's so much here they don't need to start from scratch," said Chichowski.

As the disability population grows, the resources also expand and change.

" We've really found that media plays an important role in teaching, and so anything that we can do to bring film in to the Life Center more than it has been to show people not only what's going on in rehabilitation but also how people leading successful lives post rehabilitation," said Chichowski. "People do call us from all the globe. We're lucky that most of the contacts come through the Internet. If someone does want to come in to the Life Center if you're not a patient or a family member clearly you could call."

The Life Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you wish to visit, you need to call ahead. They are located at 345 East Superior. Phone number 312/238-5433. .

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