The AUVA Rehabilitation Center Meidling

Back on May the 6th, 1965, the Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Austria’s general accident insurance institution, decided to build its own rehabilitation center for people with brain injuries. It was circumstances at the time that gave rise to this: the hectic advance of technology with associated hazards for workers, and ever-increasing use of motor vehicles. Medical advances since Lorenz Böhler did indeed make it ever more frequently possible to save the lives of those injured, but there were often permanent injuries to deal with. Without neurorehabilitation, the prospects of being able to work again were very limited. The rehabilitation center at Meidling was to serve to close this gap in care provision. The rehabilitation center was to be efficiently organised, with equipment and technology compensating for the lack of trained personnel at that time. The architect Gustav Peichl was commissioned with its design, while the medical aspects of its layout were managed by Dr. Paul Mifka. Together they designed a rehab center,
which was lauded with headlines like “Architecturally and medically remarkable” even before it opened. Three years later, on May 6th, 1968, Meidling rehab centre
was officially opened. Today Meidling rehab centre still fulfils the role for which it was originally intended having maintained its original architecture whilst being tailored to the requirements of modern-day care. Neurorehabilitation, which must start as early as possible, involves tasks and demands that have increased
as medicine has progressed, presenting us with new challenges every day. Integrated in a multi-disciplinary treatment concept, today’s neurorehabilitation involves numerous diagnostic
and medical possibilities. The variety of consequences of our patients’ injuries requires the joint efforts of all those involved in the process of rehabilitation. Every therapy is “more”; it also always means building up a relationship, contact, social participation, compassion and trust. Neurorehabilitation often also means treading a “difficult” path together. It requires not only outstanding technical ability and the corresponding equipment but also, and above all, time and space for each other. Attentiveness and respect, patience, perseverance and endurance have their reward. Creativity and humour are just as much components of neurorehabilitation as moments of relaxation and being held or carried. These are all truly the keys to recovering vigour and independence in day-to-day life, and so we offer our patients at Meidling rehab centre many opportunities to practise here and prove themselves. Complementary therapies like art, ceramics and music offer positive support to recovery in an easy-going setting,
sometimes uncovering real talent. Together with our patients we clear the first hurdles and tackle great ascents. “Together we tread a new path.” This is what we stand for – that’s why we endeavour.

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