What Is Rehabilitation Care?
Rehabilitation care is a type of temporary specialized care to help you regain as much of your strength, mobility and function as possible after suffering from an injury, illness, or other life-altering event such as a stroke.
Rehabilitation care can be provided in several different types of settings including nursing homes, assisted living, hospitals and sometimes even in your home. There are also free-standing inpatient rehabilitation centers that are dedicated specifically to providing rehabilitation care to seniors.
Inpatient rehabilitation centers, whether they are free-standing or located in a hospital or other long-term care facility, are typically well equipped and staffed to provide numerous types of therapies. These include, but are not limited to, physical, speech-language and occupational therapy.
What Is Rehabilitation Care Like?
When you need rehabilitation care, a team of doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers is usually assigned to work with you based on your needs. This team will develop a personalized course of action to help you function normally again so that you can get on with your life.
In a residential rehab program, you can expect around-the-clock treatment and supervision, and your progress will be continuously monitored.
Home care rehabilitation is often recommended once you’ve been discharged from a hospital or an inpatient rehab center. This service is often covered by Medicare if prescribed by a physician, and can include help with daily activities like cooking, cleaning and bathing, as well as medical care.
Rehab care can also be prescribed for by your physician on an outpatient basis.
What’s It Like to Stay in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Center?
When you are being cared for in an inpatient rehabilitation program, you will usually stay in a private or semi-private room. Your progress will be monitored closely, and you can expect to receive treatment and supervision around the clock.
Although you can usually wake yourself up in the morning, your days will typically be very structured. They will often begin with visits in the morning by nurses or aides to help you bathe, groom yourself and get dressed. Your time will then be divided between time receiving follow-up medical care and participating in the various types of therapy you’ve been prescribed.
Rehab centers typically have a homey atmosphere, with large dining and common areas for socializing. They often have swimming pools and fitness rooms to encourage physical activity, and offer a variety of group activities to keep you engaged.
Inpatient rehab stays can range from several day s to several months, depending on your recovery needs. It’s also important to note that most senior rehab centers specialize in either short-term or long-term care.
What to Expect from Rehabilitation Care?
Rehab services are designed to help you to regain the ability to perform the activities required of daily living, and to transition to returning home if you are in a residential program. Most senior rehab centers specialize in either long-term or short-term care.
In addition to the typical rehab services below, you and your family members will also be educated on how to ensure your care and safety, including preventing falls, once you go home.
Rehab care typically includes, but is not limited to, the following services:
- Prescribed medical treatment
- Physical, occupational and speech-language therapy as needed
- Social services
- Pain management
- Help with daily living tasks such as getting dressed, bathing, grooming and eating
Types of Therapy
Even though there are some others, the three main types of therapy provided in senior rehab care:
- Physical Therapy – The most common form of therapy, physical therapy is the treatment of disease or disability through physical movement and exercise. It includes training on specific types of movements such as gait training, bed mobility and wheelchair positioning.
- Occupational Therapy – This type of therapy is designed to help you regain skills that you need for daily life such as eating, dressing, housekeeping and grooming.
- Speech-Language Therapy – This type of therapy helps you regain your ability to speak with ease and clarity, and can cover swallowing.
The costs of rehabilitation care will vary greatly depending on the setting and the length of the rehab period, as well as whether you receive care at home, on an outpatient basis or in a residential rehab program.