If a Columbus area senior loved one is hospitalized following an injury or illness, or if they are recovering from a planned surgery, their physician has likely recommended they continue their rehab. In many cases, the recommendation is a short-term stay in a skilled nursing and rehab center. While older adults are anxious to return home, taking advantage of the Medicare Skilled Nursing and Rehab benefit can help shorten their overall recovery time and prevent a return trip to the hospital.
Of course, the world of post hospital rehab is not something everyone is familiar with, which makes it difficult to know what you should be looking for in a physical therapy center. The two best things you can do are to take a tour and ask the right questions when you do.
Tips for Finding the Right Rehab Center
Here are a few things to consider when you are talking with short-term rehab providers:
- Schedule a Tour. Pick your top few rehab centers and schedule a tour of each center.
- Ask Questions. To help you make your decision, here are a few questions you might want to ask when you are touring post hospital senior rehab centers. Some are medical-related, some therapy-related, and others are simply lifestyle-related to help you get a full picture of what the stay will be like.
- Compare Centers. When touring more than one center, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Use this simple checklist to easily compare up to three centers.
- Consider the location. Think about who the most frequent visitors will be and how easy it is to get to the rehab center. If an elderly spouse will be the primary visitor, it helps to find a quality provider near them.
- Research how Medicare rates the rehab center. You can use Nursing Home Compare to review detailed information on every Medicare and Medicaid-certified skilled nursing and rehab center in the country. The site also allows you to compare one center you are considering with another.
- What is the community’s reputation? Word of mouth can play a big role in helping you decide what rehab center to choose. Ask friends and colleagues who have been through this with a loved one for advice.
- What is the success rate after a patient leaves? It is important to know what percentage of patients return home to live independently and also how many patients end up back in the hospital.
Does a Tour Really Matter When Choosing a Center for Physical Therapy After a Hospital Stay?
The simple answer? Yes! The ultimate key to finding the best physical therapy for your senior’s needs is to make an in-person visit to each potential center.
By scheduling a tour of prospective care communities, you can get a better idea of the environment, the quality of care, and the attentiveness of the staff. These are all extremely important considerations when choosing a post hospital rehab center. You want to find a place that will provide Mom or Dad with the same level of care you would, and a tour helps you make a better-informed decision. Touring also allows you to:
- Meet their therapy team and ask any questions prior to admission.
- Therapy teams can provide a pre-surgery exercise plan, making for a quicker recovery.
- Familiarize yourself with rehabilitation equipment and any assistive devices you may require during your recovery journey.
It’s Your Decision
In the end, trust your own feelings in making a decision. In addition to considering aspects of care that can be rated, you may also want to ask the following questions:
- Can you imagine your loved one being comfortable in this center during a short stay?
- Did you feel at ease while touring?
- Did staff answer all your questions during the tour?
- Was the staff friendly and inviting?
Once you have selected the right rehab center, we recommend making pre-surgery reservations.
Benefits of Pre-Registering for Post-Surgery Rehab
Pre-registering for your post-surgery rehab stay allows you to head off to the hospital with peace of mind knowing what to expect afterwards. You can take your time and visit prospective rehab centers beforehand which provides you with the opportunity to choose a community that best meets your needs. Your family won’t have to scramble to find time to visit rehab centers for tours while you are in the hospital and choose for you.
Most communities will also be able to verify your insurance coverage allowing for quicker pre-approval from your insurance provider once you are ready to discharge from the hospital. Knowing your room will be ready and what to expect after your surgery will allow you to feel more confident and at ease before your surgery.