When an elderly loved one is discharged from the hospital, they need a supportive and safe environment where they can recover fully. Doctors commonly recommend senior rehabilitation centers for older adults to get a safe, quick recovery from major surgery, serious illness, or injury. A senior rehabilitation center promotes the senior patients’ full recovery by offering therapy treatment that reduces pain and improves the body’s function.

Some conditions doctors can prescribe rehabilitation for are; stroke, joint replacement surgery, arthritis, amputation, neurological or brain injuries, and orthopedic injuries like hip fractures and any other bones. Elderly rehabilitation ranges from 24-hour care in a skilled nursing facility, to an assisted living community, to rehab services carried out at their home.

It is good to know the available rehabilitation options for your elderly loved one to recover. It is crucial to be informed about each option’s rehab care services, how each can be paid for, and how these options overlap.

Senior rehabilitation therapy services include:

Physical Therapy

Also known as ‘below the waist’ therapy, when done it alleviates discomfort and pain following a fall, surgery, or injury. Physical therapy also improves balance, flexibility, and mobility, and increases strength. The seniors also learn techniques that help prevent another similar fall or injury.

Occupational Therapy

Also known as ‘above the waist’ therapy, it endows the elderly with fine motor skills and helps them with ADL (activities of daily living) like bathing, dressing, and eating. Occupational therapy helps seniors with the use of adaptive equipment that makes everyday living easier like doing laundry or loading a dishwasher. This therapy is especially vital for seniors recovering from illness, injury, stroke, or early stages of memory loss.

Speech/Language Therapy

This therapy provides treatment and support for seniors with conditions that cause difficulty communicating, swallowing, and hearing. Speech therapy also helps seniors with cognitive skills to deal with problems, such as memory and attention problems.

Your elderly loved ones’ health determines how much rehabilitation they need. Given this, some senior rehab centers offer short and long-term rehab options. For instance, senior patients who have undergone minor surgery may require just a short stay at the rehab facility. On the other hand, chronic conditions like stroke or heart problems may require several months of stay at a skilled nursing home.

Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation Services

Inpatient rehabilitation is for senior patients who need continuous monitoring and round-the-clock care. This kind of rehabilitation requires elderly patients to stay at the facility for a certain period. It is best for seniors recovering from a debilitating disease, serious injury, or major surgery. Inpatient facilities offer dietician-planned meals, social activities, counseling, and exercise class services. They also provide skilled medical care and assistance with daily activities like eating, dressing, and bathing.

Outpatient rehabilitation is occupational, physical, and speech therapy offered to seniors who live at home and come to the rehab facility for rehabilitation services.

Your elderly loved one’s doctor will determine which type of rehabilitation program they will need by considering the extent of the injury or the severity of the illness. To determine the best recovery option for your elderly loved one, you need to know the hospital’s discharge plan. The questions to ask the doctor about your elderly loved one are:

  • What kind of therapy do they require?
  • Which rehabilitation care do Medicare and insurance cover?
  • Do they need dressing and bathing assistance?
  • Do they need help with cooking and housework?
  • Do they need 24-hour care on discharge?
  • How long on average will their recovery take?
  • What are the problems and the symptoms to look out for, and what should be done about them?
  • What does every medication do, and why is it necessary?
  • What are the correct dosages and side effects of each medicine?
  • Who do we call if we have questions about medical equipment like the walker or oxygen?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you and the doctor can now decide which rehabilitation location is best for your elderly loved one’s recovery. An integrated approach, where the rehabilitation therapists and the doctors work as a team, is most beneficial. There are several rehabilitation location options.

Rehabilitation at a Skilled Nursing Facility

Also known as rehab hospitals, these facilities offer short-term housing and rehabilitation for seniors who need 24-hour skilled nursing services. These facilities have a typical clinical feel, having shared rooms and hospital beds.

Medicare covers approved skilled nursing facilities if your elderly loved one enters the facility within 30 days after a 3-day stay at a hospital.

In-Home Rehabilitation

This is senior rehabilitation done at home using home health services. Home health services are provided by licensed medical professionals who perform specific health tasks in the home, as ordered by a physician. Such health tasks include; administering injections, monitoring health, providing wound care, and developing a physical therapy and strength training program. These home health care services can be covered by Medicare or health insurance.

Since home health care is offered only a few times a week, the seniors must be motivated to follow the rehab program when the therapist is not there This kind of rehabilitation also lacks the socialization and support that is found in skilled nursing homes and assisted living community facilities.

Assisted Living Community Facilities

An assisted living community facility, just like at home, has skilled health professionals who provide nursing care and different therapy treatments. These services can all be paid for by Medicare.

Assisted living community facility services also include short-term respite care stay. Respite care stay is an option for seniors who have completed rehabilitation but do not feel confident enough to go home alone.

Respite care enhances your elderly loved one’s peace of mind knowing that there is 24-hour assistance and immediate response to any emergency.

Recovery from a serious illness or injury, understandably can be stressful for seniors and even cause a loss of self-confidence. Skilled senior rehabilitation therapists and caregivers help patients stay positive and focus on recovery. They also ensure the seniors have a good recovery process and reach their rehabilitation goals. Your elderly loved one then becomes motivated to keep going, and their self-confidence gets restored.

Senior rehabilitation, in general, enables the elderly to achieve high levels of function and to move forward to live their best lives.

StoneBridge Senior Living offers senior rehabilitation services in Cabot, Arkansas. For more information, contact us or call 636.477.3280. If you need resident or family support please call 855.308.3781.