What Is Post-Hospital Rehabilitation?

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 rehabilitation offers customized treatment plans to ensure each individual’s needs are met, with the goal of transitioning home with a renewed sense of confidence and an improved level of function.

Types of Rehabilitation

There are different types of rehabilitation. The two main types are inpatient and outpatient rehab.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation means a person will go from the hospital to a rehabilitation center where they’ll work with a therapy team for parts of each day, and then rest and enjoy the center’s activities for the remainder of the day.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient rehabilitation means that a person will go straight home from the hospital, and then travel to rehab appointments in order to receive services.

Man walking with Macintosh nurse during rehab

Types of Rehabilitation

There are different types of rehabilitation. The two main types are inpatient and outpatient rehab.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation means a person will go from the hospital to a rehabilitation center where they’ll work with a therapy team for parts of each day, and then rest and enjoy the center’s activities for the remainder of the day.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient rehabilitation means that a person will go straight home from the hospital, and then travel to rehab appointments in order to receive services.

How to Find Rehab for Older Adults After a Hospital Stay

Finding a physical therapy rehabilitation center for post-hospital care can be an overwhelming task. It’s often difficult to know where to start in your search. To assist you in this process, review the steps below when choosing a rehabilitation center.

Step #1: Get Information From the Hospital

As you or a loved one recovers in the hospital, be sure to ask doctors and nurses any questions you may have — even if it seems small or silly. Talk to the doctor to see what kind of rehab would be best and try to decide how much rehab will be necessary depending on your health needs.

Step #2: Begin Your Search by Identifying Centers

After you know what type of rehabilitation you or your loved one might need — such as occupational, physical or speech therapy — 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 #3: Ask the Right Questions During Your Search

You’ll want to ask the right questions as you narrow down rehabilitation options based on what’s important to you or 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 physical, occupational and speech therapy?
  • How does my insurance cover my rehabilitation needs?
  • How do you include families in the planning process?
  • How is the progress communicated? 
  • What is the patient-to-staff ratio?
  • How do you manage the transition from the hospital to your community?
  • How much therapy will my loved one receive, and what other activities do you offer?

Step #4: Schedule a Tour

If you have time, it’s always a good idea to tour the rehabilitation 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 #5: Choose a Center

Hopefully, the decision will become clear as you research different rehabilitation centers. It’s important to keep in mind needs, preferences and costs. Sometimes it helps to create a pros-and-cons 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Post-Hospital Rehabilitation

It depends on the community. Private rooms are often desired when someone is not feeling well. If that is important to you or your loved one, ask the admissions director if private rooms are available.

Physical, occupational and speech therapy schedules are typically tailored to the individual. At Optalis, our therapy teams want everyone to participate in their rehabilitation to the best of their ability. The team works with each patient to determine a personal rehabilitation schedule based on individual needs and desires.

A continuum of care means that no matter what your health care needs are, they can all be met within one community. Optalis offers a full continuum of care services that include assisted living, long-term care, short-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, home care and in-home private duty services.

The success rate, when referring to rehabilitation or physical therapy centers, is the number of patients that are discharged back to their homes. If a center has a high rate of success, this means that there are a high number of patients returning to their homes with renewed health and confidence to manage their care needs.

Download My Post-Hospital Rehab Guide

Download your complete guide to post-hospital rehabilitation here. You’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to choose a rehab center along with a list of questions to ask each community. You’ll also find a full list of frequently asked questions about rehabilitation.

Pre-Surgery Reservations at Optalis Health & Rehabilitation

If you are considering or have scheduled surgery and would like to plan for your recovery needs, we recommend making a pre-surgery reservation. This will provide you with peace of mind that you’re prepared for both your surgery and recovery.

When you make a pre-surgery reservation at one of our seven Optalis Communities, there is no financial obligation should your surgery be canceled or postponed. Click on the link below to request your pre-surgery reservation with us.

Female rehab resident doing physical therapy with therapy staff member