shirley ryan abilitylab in downtown chicago


At the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, everyone you meet is committed to helping you advance your abilities. Still, receiving rehabilitation can be a new experience for patients and their families. Over the years, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from all levels of care.

Inpatient Care


What should I (or my loved one) bring for inpatient care?

  • Outfits: The average inpatient stay varies by condition, but you should plan on bringing 5 outfits.  Depending on your course of treatment, inpatient therapy can be physical. Bring comfortable shirts, shorts/sweatpants and swimwear. A jacket or light sweater is always a good idea.
  • Footwear: A few different types are recommended for inpatients.
    • A pair of loose-fitting slippers with a solid bottom.
    • Tennis shoes that are slightly larger (by 1-2 sizes) than your pre-injury shoe size to allow for swelling.
    • Socks should be warm and comfortable, but avoid pairs that are too thick or tight.
  • Personal toiletries, including sunblock
  • Any inspirational or personal items for your private room

How long will I be in inpatient care?

The length of stay will vary based on conditions and your personal therapy program and progress. However, the average patient is with us between 12-20 days. 

What are your visiting hours?

We encourage visitors and want to make families and friends feel at home here. Visiting hours are between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Please see our Visitor Services page for additional recommendations on visiting patients at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

I’m traveling to Chicago from out-of-state or another country. Can you help?

Our Global Patient Services (GPS) Care Manager at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab will assist with travel logistics and coordinate your clinical care. Prior to arrival, your Care Manager will provide you with orientation information, schedule your appointments and facilitate communication with your treatment team. The Care Manager will work closely with you to set up the most convenient travel & housing options. To contact our GPS team, call 312-238-5684.

DayRehab & Outpatient Care


What’s the difference between Day Rehab and Outpatient care? 

DayRehab tends to focuses on treating patients who have had a neurological injury. They usually need more than one type of therapy (PT, OT, SP, psychology). It is ideal for those patients who no longer require hospitalization but still require intensive, coordinated rehabilitation. DayRehab treatment is customized for each individual and may be anywhere from 3-6 hours a day, 2-5 days a week. 

Outpatient care is focused on one-to-two hour sessions, 1 - 2 times a week, that focus on a specific injury or pain. Our Pain Management Center focuses on specific types of outpatient care while many of our other facilities also offer general outpatient care for patients of all ages.

What should I wear to my appointment?

You should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that you can easily move around in, and shoes that will stay on your feet during activity.

What do I need to bring with me?

On your first day, you will need to bring your insurance card, a photo ID, a list of any medication you are taking and any orders you have from your physician. 

Will I always see the same therapist?  

You will have a primary therapist for each discipline who will be responsible for progressing your treatment plan and keeping you informed of your progress. You will also have the opportunity to work with other therapists throughout your rehabilitation, all of whom will be fully updated on your goals and treatment plan.

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