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gradual return to health after illness, injury, or an operation, esp through rest



in humans and animals, a period of recuperation that is characterized by the gradual disappearance of disease symptoms and the restoration of normal vital activities. The time limits of convalescence are conditional. The functions of individual organs begin to normalize at the height of the disease, that is, during the acute period.

Convalescence may be rapid or prolonged; the elimination of the basic disease and the restoration of bodily functions do not necessarily mean that the structures and functions of all systems and organs have recovered to the state prior to the illness. For instance, cardiomyopathy can occur after infections, and functional disorders of the nervous system can occur after influenza.

Convalescence is usually accompanied by improvement of appetite and by weight gain. General restorative treatment and medical rehabilitation are especially important. With some infections, for example, typhoid fever and dysentery, discharge of the causative agent may continue during convalescence. This accounts for the implementation of special measures to prevent epidemics; for instance, an individual may receive permission to work only after laboratory analysis confirms his health, and children convalescing from dysentery are kept in isolated wards.


The period and process of recovery after an illness or injury.
References in periodicals archive ?
The convalescent home represents another antecedent of the nursing home as we know it today.
Bryant continued: "...Care of convalescent patients has for the most part been left to drive by itself without intensive medical supervision; in consequence, this is almost the only branch of medicine which has made minimal progress in the last fifty years or more.
"It is now authoritatively stated that every city should provide beds for convalescent patients in the ratio of 1:10 acute hospital beds.
Convalescent homes don't entirely parallel the nursing homes of today, in that they were primarily intended as places where people could recover so that they could return to the community, rather than serving as residential homes for the chronically disabled.
Doff, director of Special Health Services for the Florida Board of Health, described in a March 1962 Nursing Homes article the "community attitude" that served as the foundation for the "so-called convalescent home of the 1920s and 1930s": "Convalescence had not yet interested the rank and file of the medical and allied professions."' According to Dr.
Doff added that, even as recently as 20 years earlier, in the early 1940s, convalescent care did not include special diets, care for cardiac patients after hospital discharge (regardless of their age), provisions for cancer patients (regardless of whether they needed continued medical or nursing care after being released from the hospital) or the care of patients with coloitomies.
Neither do convalescent homes want crippled or disfigured patients." This social services director had wondered, said Dr.
Privately operated rest homes and nursing homes and convalescent homes popped up like ants at a picnic.
With the shift away from the large, extended, multigeneration unit, families began to place their kin in newly organized boarding homes, nursing homes, rest homes, homes for the aged, and convalescent homes and hospitals.
To forestall this, the boarding homes quickly employed one or more nurses and evolved into a 'nursing home,' 'convalescent home,' 'rest home,' or whatever category was most appropriate under the state statute.