Many seniors will need a little extra help to get back to their regular routine after an accident, health setback, or hospital stay. For Americans turning 65, almost 70% will need some kind of long term care facility during their later years. Whether a caregiver needs to consider a rehab, skilled nursing, or long term care facility depends on their loved one’s ability to care for themselves.
What Is a Senior Rehabilitation Center?
A senior rehab center offers help to seniors who are recovering from an injury or serious medical event. Rehab facilities help to reduce pain and improve function after a life-altering medical event. Rehab center services include physical, occupational, and speech therapies as well as rehabilitation psychology. Depending on the care that your loved one needs will determine if they will spend a short or long time at this kind of skilled long term care facility.
The Goal of Senior Rehabilitation
When your senior goes into a rehab center, the goal is to help them return to their maximum functional potential before their injury or hospital stay. Skilled nursing facilities offer therapies that will get your loved one moving and caring for themselves. Depending on your senior’s needs, they may focus on learning to use mobility aids, improve muscle strength, improve balance, and perform daily living activities.
Short-Term Vs. Long Term Senior Rehab Facilities
Skilled nursing rehab services is a good choice to reduce your loved one’s pain and improve their daily lives. If your senior has had minor surgery, then they may only need a short stay at a skilled nursing facility that offers rehab services. If your loved one has a chronic medical condition such as stroke complications or heart disease, then they may need a long-term care facility that specialized in rehab services. Generally, if your loved one needs 24-hour care, then a skilled nursing facility will be your best choice.
When trying to decide if you’ll need a short- or long-term care facility, you’ll want to consult your doctor. They will consider the illnesses and decide on the best kind of rehab center that’s right for your senior.
Outpatient or Inpatient Services
Many senior rehab centers offer outpatient and inpatient services. If your loved one needs around-the-clock care, then more than likely, you’ll want to choose a skilled nursing facility that provides rehabilitation services. With inpatient services, your loved one will be able to take advantage of exercise classes, social activities, counseling services, and meal preparation. Each day spent at a rehab facility will improve daily function and reduce pain.
Selecting the Right Rehab Center After Hospitalization
After your senior has spent time in a hospital for an injury or a major medical event, it’s essential to select the right rehab center for their needs. Each skilled nursing facility and long term care facility will offer services, including 24-hour nursing services and skilled medical care. Medicare will often approve rehabilitation in long term care facilities that provide rehab services, provided your loved one enters the facility within 30 days after they have been in the hospital for at least three days.
Many long term care facilities that offer rehab services have physical therapy and occupational therapy as well. If your senior expects to go home after a stay in a rehab facility, these kinds of therapies will help them to get back to their daily routines.
The duration of stay and type of senior rehab center you select for your loved one varies depending on the severity of their condition and their potential improvement. When you are deciding whether you need a rehab center for your senior, speak openly with your health care team about the options available to you. Regardless of the injury or medical event, the more time your loved one stays in a long term care facility that offers skilled nursing and rehab services, the more likely they will recover more quickly.