Whether it’s a planned hip or knee replacement, or a sudden stroke or fall, rehabilitating at a short-term care facility has many benefits. The typical hospital stay is meant to treat and discharge patients as safely as possible. Not only are shorter hospital stays more cost-effective, but they also minimize the risk of hospital-acquired infections.
However, after major surgery or sudden illness, many older adults are not physically ready to return home. Fortunately, many older adults have the option to transfer to a short-term rehabilitation facility to regain strength and endurance. Short-term care rehabilitation facilities are designed to accommodate older adults who need temporary assistance to get back on their feet. Many nursing homes or long-term care communities offer short-term rehabilitation stays, providing older adults a choice. With so many options available, here are a few pointers to consider when touring short-term rehabilitation communities and deciding which place is the best fit for you.
Private or Shared Rooms
Most older adults prefer to rehabilitate in their own private rooms. It’s common for newer facilities to offer private rooms. However, some facilities might have double rooms and cannot guarantee the second bed will be unoccupied your entire stay. During your tour, ask about the types of rooms where short-term care patients are assigned. If roommates are a possibility, ask what happens should you not get along with your roommate. Also, ask to see a typical short-term care room during your tour and look for private bathrooms with a shower within the room.
Therapy Services Provided
The most important reason that a hospital patient discharges to a short-term rehabilitation facility is to regain their strength and mobility. When touring short-term care facilities, ask about the specific therapy services they provide and whether they specialize in anything particular. Some facilities may be better equipped to handle stroke patients, whereas others may specialize in joint replacements. Ask how often to expect therapy sessions, if there’s flexibility in how they schedule patients, and how soon you will be evaluated to begin therapy treatment.
Bed Hold Policy
If you are scheduled to have elective surgery, such as a hip or knee replacement, you may have the advantage of touring and selecting a suitable short-term rehabilitation facility before surgery. Once you have selected your first choice, ask the admissions coordinator about the facility’s bed-hold policy. Some facilities fill up more quickly than others and often take admissions on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you know your anticipated discharge date, ask the facility if they can hold a bed for you and if there’s a fee involved. Ask about the facility’s bed-hold policy should you need to be readmitted to the hospital during your short-term rehabilitation stay.
The Appearance of Current Patients
While touring the facility, observe the appearance of current patients. Do the patients look happy, clean, and well-cared for? Observe the staff’s interaction with patients and how quickly the staff responds to call lights or patient requests. Ask about nurse to patient and caregiver to patient ratios; do the nurses and caregivers seem overwhelmed, or do they appear to be able to manage the care load assigned to them? While touring, pay attention to odors as well. Remember that new doesn’t always equal the best; it’s the care that the staff provides that matters the most.
Activities Offered During Downtime
Finally, ask what’s available to help keep you entertained during downtime. You will receive therapy for a specific amount of time per day. After therapy, there may be a lot of unexpected downtimes. While it’s nice to have some downtime to recuperate in your room, too much downtime can lead to boredom. Most facilities offer activities for patients to pursue during their downtime. Ask to see an activity calendar and ask what’s specifically offered for short-term stay patients.
If you anticipate a short-term rehabilitation stay in the near future, let Senior Living Solutions help you find the right facility for your needs. We give you peace of mind and the support you need to make an informed decision about your care. Beyond short-term care, we are also familiar with long-term care facilities and home care companies, should you require more care and support in the future. If you are interested in exploring available senior living options, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.