Geriatric rehabilitation can be defined as the maintenance and restoration of physical and psychological health necessary for independent living and functional independence. Access to comprehensive rehabilitative services is critical to the attainment of independent living and functional independence, which are fundamental goals of all people.

Certain illnesses that occur commonly in older persons can be associated with a decline in the individual's ability to function independently. Medical and social support services, including rehabilitative programs, are most effective when they are delivered in a timely and coordinated fashion. Geriatric rehabilitation services designed to enhance and restore functional ability may enable many older people to live in less restrictive environments, thereby producing net savings in health-care costs.