If you or a loved one is hospitalized for a surgical procedure, injury or an acute illness, your medical team may recommend short-term rehab, or rehabilitation, before returning home. Rehab helps patients regain all or some of the movement or function they lost due to health issues or surgery, such as a hip replacement or recovering from a serious illness and experience deconditioning.
Moving from Hospital to Inpatient Rehab
The transition from the hospital to rehab is often done quickly. A discharge planner in the hospital (usually a nurse or social worker) will provide a list of appropriate rehab settings depending on the situation. Patients and their families are asked to choose which subacute, or short term rehab facility they prefer. When an open bed at any of their choices becomes available and the patient is well enough to leave the hospital, patients have the option to accept this opportunity and leave the hospital. Understanding how rehab works and which options offer a quality rehab program ahead of time will help the decision-making process.
The discharge planner and facility of choice will assist you in verifying your health insurance will cover the overnight stay, nursing care and therapy costs.
A rehab team of therapists works with each patient to create a recovery plan to fit his or her needs. Some patients will require services from a combination of therapists, while others may only call for one type of therapy.
Physical therapy (PT) is designed to help patients who have problems in moving, balance, walking and performing other physical activities. PT can also help patients learn to use prosthetic (artificial) arms or legs, shoe inserts, wheelchairs, walkers or other assistive devices.
Occupational therapy (OT) is focused on helping patients gain independence with self-care and other daily tasks, such as eating, getting dressed, typing and using the telephone.
Speech therapy is centered on helping patients who have suffered strokes, brain injuries or other conditions relearn language skills, such as talking, understanding spoken and written words and dealing with memory problems. It can also help with swallowing problems.
There are several ways short-term rehab can add value to recovery:
The focus and goal of rehab is reconditioning to help a patient become independent, which requires a lot of work. A therapist or team of therapists guide patients through specially designed exercises that are developed based on their specific situation to ensure that they remain active without overdoing it. Therapists will also make patients aware of their short-term and long-term limitations, and the body mechanics required to recover in a safe and healthy manner.
Speed of Recovery
After a fall, injury, illness or surgery patients may be anxious to return to their regular daily routine. The treatment plan created by rehabilitation professionals is designed to target the specific muscles, joints, and ligaments that will improve the speed of a patient’s recovery and return them to their daily life. They will devise a program that steadily works toward accomplishing a patient’s goals, while ensuring that patients don’t overdo it, which could delay recovery.
Develop an Ongoing Plan for Maintenance
The reality is that age and certain injuries, surgeries and health conditions may leave patients with long-term limitations, such as decreased range of motion. The good news is that the exercises learned during rehabilitation are often exercises that can be used at home to keep a patient’s muscles, joints and ligaments strong and flexible. Having an ongoing health and fitness plan will help patients manage concerns related to range of motion, flexibility, and pain.
Emotional Support from Someone Who Understands
Rehab isn’t just physical; it can also be an emotional experience. Depending on the situation, patients can have a difficult time accepting limitations or become easily frustrated related to overly optimistic expectations. Feeling tired, angry, discouraged, and overwhelmed are all common feelings in rehab. Well-intentioned friends and family members may also add to the stress by giving advice or making comments about what they perceive to be a patient’s limitations or how quickly they think a patient should recover. A rehabilitation team is made up of compassionate professionals who have an in-depth understanding of each patient’s situation and can provide emotional support and encouragement.
Our innovative, skilled nursing rehab care is provided in a home environment with proactive staff dedicated to designing a customized program that is carefully planned to enhance the recovery of you or your loved one. Visit us online or call us at 267-291-2300 to learn more about the many services offered in our continuum of care.