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Senior Rehabilitation Considerations

veteran caregiver and rehabilitation

Senior Rehabilitation Facility for Quality Recovery

Are you a caregiver for a loved one who has recently been hospitalized and is going to be placed in a senior rehabilitation facility for further recovery and therapy? What should you and the patient consider in choosing a senior rehabilitation facility? It’s up to you as caregiver to make sure your choice of facility takes the rehabilitation of your loved one seriously and has a track record of success.

When it’s time for rehab, shop around and ask lots of questions.



Here are a few useful questions to start with:

  • What kind of facility is this?
    Is it a skilled nursing facility, a long-term acute hospital, or an acute rehabilitation facility?These are Medicare terms for different types of facilities with different kinds of care and services available. Medicare guidelines set requirements for the services at these facilities.
  • Is this facility accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations?
    This means that a healthcare accrediting organization has checked the facility and its operations to help assure patients and professionals that the organization is performing according to professional standards.
  • What is the nurse to patient ratio?
    The higher the ratio (more nurses) the better chance of quality care.
  • How often will the patient see a doctor? Is that doctor going to be in touch with my usual family physician regularly?
    Senior rehabilitation quite often requires medical attention. You need to make sure your primary physician is aware and up-to-date with patient progress.
  • Do you have senior rehabilitation programs and equipment particularly for a patient like me?
    Facilities may have special equipment for bariatric patients, for orthopedic patients, or for spinal cord injury patients for example. Services from speech pathologists may be available for patients who have had a stroke or who have swallowing issues.
  • How much one-on-one therapy and how many total hours of therapy will the patient receive?
    Some facilities will only show the patient how to do physical therapy exercises and leave the rest to you. The better facilities will spend extended time with patient/therapist in one-on-one exercise sessions.
  • What is your average length of stay for a patient with your type of health problem?
    This answer may not be specific among senior rehabilitation facilities. Every person is different with different rehab needs. Still, in general, the higher quality care and work ethic, the shorter time it takes to rehab a patient.
  • What does Medicare or Medicaid pay? How much will I have to pay?
    You can expect legitimate senior rehabilitation facilities to be experienced in handling Medicare and Medicaid claims.
  • How hard a drive is it to the facility?
    Perhaps this question is not really a deal-breaker, but an easy drive to and from the facility may mean more visitors for your loved one… and that’s always nice. :o)

The answers to these questions may differ somewhat from place to place. But you have the right to know what you’re putting your loved one into. Visit the facility in person if possible and bring other family members or friends with you. An in-person tour with a Q & A session is always best.

A good senior rehabilitation facility can help restore functional living skills and dignity to the patient, and hope and help for a caregiver. And that’s the whole point.

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