It’s the call no one wants to get—Mom has fallen and hurt herself, Dad’s going to need to have surgery, or perhaps your spouse has suffered a medical emergency. Luckily, they’re going to make a full recovery. But now you’re faced with the task of finding a physical rehabilitation center for their post-hospital care. Where do you start?
Navigating the world of post-hospital rehab can be tricky, especially if you’ve never had to deal with anything like it before. We’ve laid out a step-by-step guide to help you better understand what rehab is and how to go about finding care for your loved one.
What is Post-Hospital Rehab?
After a hospital stay or surgery, many older adults need some level of rehab to help get them back on their feet or back to their former good health. For older adults, post-hospital rehab offers customized treatment plans to ensure each patient’s needs are met, with the goal of transitioning home with a renewed sense of confidence and an improved level of function.
There are different types of rehab. The two main types are inpatient and outpatient. Outpatient rehab means that a person will go straight home from the hospital, then travel to rehab appointments in order to receive services. Inpatient rehab means a person will go from the hospital to a rehab center where they’ll work with a therapy team for parts of each day, then rest and enjoy the center’s activities for the remainder of the day.
How to Find Rehab for Older Adults After a Hospital Stay
Below is a step-by-step guide to choosing a rehab center after being discharged from the hospital.
Step One: Ask Questions at the Hospital
As your parent or loved one recover in the hospital, be sure to ask the doctors and nurses any question you may have—even if it seems small or silly. Talk to your parent’s doctor to see what kind of rehab would be best and try to ascertain how much rehab will be necessary depending on their health needs.
Step Two: Begin Your Search by Identifying Centers
After you know what types of rehab your loved one might need—such as occupational, physical or speech—you can start gathering a list of potential centers. If you need help getting started, ask the hospital social worker. They’ll likely have a list of centers they can share with you.
Step Three: Ask the Right Questions When Narrowing Down Nursing and Rehab Options
You want to ask the right questions as you narrow down rehab options, based on what’s important to your loved one. As you start to look at different places that offer rehab for post-hospital patients, you can get the ball rolling by asking these basic questions:
- Will the patient have a private room?
- Do you offer all three disciplines of therapy (physical, occupational, and speech)?
- How does my insurance cover my rehab needs?
- How do you include families in the planning process?
- How is the progress communicated?
- Are the nurses knowledgeable and experienced in caring for patients similar to you or your loved one?
- What is the patient to staff ratio?
- What is the success rate? (In other words, how many patients return home to live independently if that is their goal?)
- How do you manage the transition from the hospital to your community?
- How much therapy will my parent receive and what other activities do you offer?
Step Four: Time to Tour
If you have time, it’s always a good idea to tour the rehab communities you’re considering. That way you can see for yourself how the staff works with patients, the quality of the center, and what the atmosphere of the community is like.
Step Five: Making the Decision
When it comes to making a decision, be sure you talk openly and honestly with your parent about his or her needs and preferences. It’s also important to have a frank discussion with your parent about his or her financial situation to determine how their rehab will be covered—whether it’s through their insurance, Medicare, or another avenue.
While looking at different rehab centers, hopefully it will become clear which one to choose. But if the decision isn’t apparent, break out a trusty old positive and negative checklist to see how two centers rank against each other. Take things into account such as Medicare rating, insurance coverage, amenities, reputation, and quality of care.
Post-Hospital Rehabilitation Q&A
1. How do I know if a skilled rehabilitation center is the right choice?
It all depends on your parent’s health needs. Their doctor will be able to tell you what level of care they may need and whether a rehab center would be appropriate.
However, you might still have questions and that’s where the staff at a rehab center can help. By speaking with one of our admissions directors and sharing some information about your loved one’s current health situation and the goals that you’d like them to accomplish, our staff will be able to provide guidance as to the most appropriate level of care.
2. What is the nursing team’s role in the rehab and recovery process?
The rehab and nursing team plays a huge part in any patient’s recovery process. Experienced, knowledgeable nurses are instrumental to a successful post-hospital rehab stay.
3. How can you plan in advance to get skilled nursing care?
Certain rehab centers allow you to reserve space before a surgery if you know you will need some level of rehabilitation service. If you are considering or have scheduled a surgery or procedure and would like to plan for your recovery needs, we recommend making a pre-surgery reservation at one of our MacIntosh Communities. This will provide you peace of mind that you’re prepared for both your surgery and your recovery.
4. How do I know if the care center I chose is the right fit for my loved one?
What is most important is that your loved one has a sense of being cared for and cared about. You’ll be able to quickly assess if your family member is receiving good, quality care. The staff will be knowledgeable and attentive to the care needs specific to your loved one, often anticipating them before being asked. And lastly, you’ll feel comfortable with lines of communication to various staff members as your loved one begins to acclimate to their surroundings.
5. Do care centers offer a private room for my loved one to have personal space?
It depends on the community. Private rooms are often desired when someone is not feeling well. If that is important to you in your rehab and recovery, please share that with our Admissions Director. Our MacIntosh care communities can almost always accommodate that desire.
6. Does the therapy department offer a flexible schedule to coordinate disciplines?
Physical, occupational, and speech therapy schedules are tailored to the individual. At MacIntosh, our therapy teams want everybody to participate in their rehabilitation to the best of their ability. The teams work with each patient to determine a personal rehabilitation schedule that works best for them based on their individual needs and desires.
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7. What are rehabilitation center specialties?
Rehab centers can have different specialties, including orthopedic, neurological recovery, oncology care, and complex medical conditions.
It is always wise when touring to speak with one of the treating therapists. Share with them information about your or your family members’ condition and learn how they provide treatment for patients with a similar diagnosis. The therapists will be able to share areas of expertise they have treating various conditions.
Many of our care communities have specialty programs designed for several diagnoses. In addition, local hospital systems have partnered with The MacIntosh Company on specific health care continuums.
8. What constitutes a full continuum of care?
A continuum of care means that no matter your loved one’s health care needs, they can all be met within one community.
MacIntosh is able to offer a full continuum of care services based on an individual’s care needs. This allows our team to provide care at the most appropriate level for your family member and transition them though the continuum as needed. Our care services include assisted living, long term care, short term skilled nursing and rehabilitation, out-patient rehabilitation, home care, and in-home private duty services.
9. What does “success rate” mean?
In reference to rehab or physical therapy centers, the success rate refers to how many patients are discharged back to their home.
When a patient has the goal of returning home, the MacIntosh care centers have a 94% rate of success getting them prepared to return home to continue life with renewed health and confidence to manage their care needs.
10. How do centers handle family concerns?
Our MacIntosh community management teams take great pride in making themselves available to our patients and their family members. We welcome feedback and will work to understand and adjust to ensure the experience is a positive one. To help facilitate communication and ensure needs are being met, we have guest advocates who work with patients.
11. What is the quality of life at the rehabilitation care center?
Everyone has their own definition of quality of life and what that means to them. Patients at MacIntosh care communities base their quality of life on the personal care they receive from our professional therapists, nurses, and other care team professionals, the clean and updated environment and, most importantly, their ability to quickly regain their functional independence so they can go home.
Physical Therapy and Rehab in Columbus, Ohio
If you’re looking for rehab services in the Columbus area, The MacIntosh Company has care centers in several convenient locations. We have centers that offer rehab and physical therapy in Canal Winchester, Circleville, Grove City Hilliard, Mill Run, New Albany, and other Columbus-area locations.
MacIntosh communities that offer post-hospital rehabilitation and care are:
Questions About Post-Hospital Rehab? Contact Us!
We know the world of rehab and physical therapy can be confusing. That’s why we’re dedicated to answering your questions and making sure your loved one receives the best possible care to get them back on their feet as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about rehab or how MacIntosh can help, feel free to reach out at any time. We’re here to help!