How Do I Know if a Skilled Rehab Center is the Right Option?

Dear Amanda:

My father has been battling with a serious case of pneumonia that landed him in the hospital. The social worker told us today that we should expect him to be discharged in about three more days.

She also let us know that my father’s primary care physician wants dad to continue with rehab to help him get back on his feet. He has gotten pretty weak over the past month since he’s been sick and he is very unsteady on his feet.

My question is how can we tell which is a better option —home care or a stay in a short-term rehab center?

Dad lives alone in a house he has lived in for about 40 years. I think getting him to agree to go to a rehab center might be an uphill battle.


Recover at Home with In-Home Care or at a Short-term Rehab Center

Dear Joy:

Pneumonia can definitely be tough on older adults. It isn’t uncommon for physicians to recommend a senior who has been hospitalized with it receive therapy after they are discharged.

As you and your father are making this decision, here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Since your Dad lives alone right now, will someone be available to stay with him during his recovery? If he is unsteady on his feet, it might not be safe for him to be alone.
  • What type of insurance does your father have and what services will it cover? If he has Medicare, he will likely meet the criteria for both home care services and inpatient rehab care since it sounds like he has spent more than three nights at the hospital. The hospital social worker can help you determine what his insurance will cover if you aren’t sure.
  • Does your father have other medical conditions that need to be taken into consideration? These are referred to as co-morbidities. A chronic health issue like diabetes can complicate his recovery. In this case, a short-term rehab center is usually a better choice.
  • Is your Dad able to manage his own care (i.e. taking the right dose of the right medication at the right time) and oversee in-home caregivers if he decides to rehab at home? Staying on track with his medication schedule will likely play an important role in his recovery.

In many cases, a short stay in a rehab center can be followed by in-home care or outpatient therapy. The combination can help an older adult maximize their recovery.

I’d like to extend an invitation for you to tour Whetstone Gardens on your father’s behalf at your earliest opportunity. We can introduce you to our rehab team and answer any more questions you might have.

Kind Regards,

Amanda Meeks