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10 Things to Look For in a Rehab Facility for the Elderly

Senior Rehab Facility for the Elderly Living in Retirement Homes

In case you do not know, you can choose where an elderly loved one can complete their rehabilitation following a hospital discharge.

Luckily, typing in "rehab facilities near me" on Google can help you find the best place for your grandparents or aging parents. It is just a matter of determining the kind of facility that will suit your needs.

What is a Rehab Facility for the Elderly?

Also called the senior rehabilitation center, a rehab facility for the elderly is designed to help recovering patients. These can be your grandparents or aging parents who were injured or underwent a serious medical event.

In addition, senior rehab facilities offer the following services:

  • Physical therapy. This is to help elderlies to improve their mobility, balance, and flexibility. Some treatments help reduce pain and strengthen their muscles.
  • Occupational therapy. This is meant to recover fine motor skills or help the seniors use adaptive equipment.
  • Speech therapy. This is to help our loved ones with attention or memory problems, communication, cognitive skills, or swallowing.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Services

In addition to the rehabilitation services mentioned above, there are rehabilitation centers for seniors that offer inpatient and outpatient services.

Inpatient service is ideal if an elderly requires continuous monitoring and around-the-clock care. Often, those that need inpatient services are people with debilitating diseases, underwent major surgery, or recovering from a serious injury.

What's great about inpatient services is that they provide intensive medical care and assisted living.

On the other hand, outpatient service is wherein the senior stays within the comfort of their home. They can receive the services mentioned earlier, although their condition does not require 24/7 monitoring.

Often, outpatients visit the rehab center for therapy, regular medical checkup, and socialization.

Short-term vs. Long-term Rehabilitation

Some rehab facilities for the elderly offer short-term and long-term options. However, this will be determined based on the senior's health.

For instance, an aging parent who underwent a minor surgery does not need to stay in a senior rehabilitation center for long. However, those who suffered from stroke may need to stay and recuperate for an extended period. That's because they need continuous monitoring, around-the-clock care, and various therapies.

For cases where rehabilitation is not possible in an assisted living facility, then this is where you should seek out a rehabilitation facility such as Poway Healthcare Center, and Carmel Mountain Rehabilitation and Health Care.

10 Factors You Should Consider When Looking for a Rehab Facility

Now that you know what options you have, the next step is to choose a rehab facility that will suit an elderly loved one's needs. And to do that, you need to take these ten factors into consideration:

Facility Accreditation

The Joint Commission accredits physical rehabilitation facilities in the United States. The commission visits a center every three years to conduct a multi-day evaluation.

That said, it is imperative to make sure that your preferred senior rehabilitation center is accredited. That's because it ensures that all the staff is qualified to provide the care necessary for an elderly loved one.

Staff Qualifications

Depending on a senior's condition, you can ask the rehab center whether their staff are board-certified or have advanced degrees. Another thing you may want to know is whether they have registered nurses.

This is a must if the patient needs rehabilitation nursing.

It would also be best to know if your preferred facility provides acute or critical care services. Acute care is needed to improve an elderly's health within a short period. This is to prevent the development of chronic conditions.

What's important here is that the staff understand a patient's unique needs. Also, it would help to check if they provide a holistic examination. This allows you to tap an immediate medical professional outside of the department that handles the patient. 

Suitable Rehab Programs

The common reasons your grandparent or aging parent may need rehabilitation are stroke, fracture, surgery, and other serious medical events. As such, it would be best to ensure whether a facility can offer programs that would suit your loved one's needs.

What you can do is ask the senior's physician to prescribe a suitable therapy. That way, you can narrow down your search.

Treatment Plans

In relation to the previous point, some medical facilities form partnerships to provide a well-developed treatment plan.

A treatment plan usually involves various medical professionals like physicians, nurses, and therapists. They are needed to ensure what specific treatments a senior may need. It also ensures that your loved one can acquire suitable services, leading to full recovery.

In relation to this, you might want to check how many patients with the same condition as the seniors were treated in the facility. This and the average length of stay can indicate the quality of service that a facility renders.

However, keep in mind that length of stay will also depend on other factors:

  • Severity of the patient's condition
  • Type of insurance
  • Rehabilitation goals

Care and Therapy Frequency

In case you do not know, licensed rehabilitation facilities require patients to receive at least three houses of therapy five times a week.

As such, consider the length and frequency of monitoring that a senior may need. From there, you can inquire whether a particular center provides them.

For instance, your aging parent needs to take medication at night but does not require continuous monitoring. What you need is a 24/7 outpatient service.

In that case, you can narrow down your search for senior rehabilitation centers that provide such care.

Supplemental Services

Here's the thing: An elderly loved one does not only require medical care. Sometimes, you need to give the patient something to do to entertain themselves.

That said, ask whether a facility provides other non-medical services. This can include gardening, art therapy, music therapy, and more.

Supplemental services promote healing, helping the elderly to recover as soon as possible. It also gives the patients the chance to socialize or get their minds off of their condition while undergoing rehabilitation.

In addition, find out if the facility provides advice on home adaptations and modifications. Doing so ensures family involvement and that the patient can move freely when they are back home.

Family Participation

You might also want to know whether a rehabilitation center for the elderly allows family participation. That's because treatment plans that involve the patient and his family can help maximize every recovery opportunity.

Family participation can include the following:

  • Administering medications on time
  • Learning how to assist a caregiver best
  • Observing therapy sessions and progress

This also includes having easy access to patient information online for you, your family, and caregivers.

Discharge and Insurance Assistance

During and after the rehabilitation, you may still need non-medical assistance. This includes settling your bills, ensuring that your insurance can cover your treatment, and acquiring at-home therapies.

As such, check whether the rehab center assigns a patient with a social worker or a case manager. Often, they are also involved in the treatment plan. That's because they can help verify a patient's insurance benefits and coordinate outpatient services.

On the other hand, a case manager can also check with your insurance provider which treatments will be covered and whether they accredit your preferred facility.

You can also tap them to help you understand your bills. They can also serve as your contact person for any follow-up care.

It is a common situation upon discharge that seniors need continuous assistance and is not possible or very difficult to continue at home. Like in instances when they no longer have a home, or family members have limited resources to give proper attention and care. This is where assisted living facilities such as Huntington Manor can help take care of your elderly loved ones.

Outpatient Services

Just because a senior is out of the rehab facility does not mean they no longer need medical attention.

Sure, your grandma is fully recovered from bypass surgery, but she may still need monitoring.

Such a patient needs to check her temperature to ensure that she does not have a fever. She may also need help to move around the house, as her movement may be limited within the first two weeks of post-surgery. Thus, she will need someone who can help her sit down or walk to the bathroom.

As such, it would be ideal to have a caregiver who can help take care of your grandma. After all, they have the expertise needed to help a patient fully recover.

Patient Record Access

Lastly, you should consider whether a rehab facility for the elderly allows patient record access.

A patient record can include medical history, medication list, treatment status, and lab results. You would also want that this record is in one place. Hence, it would be best if the facility provides electronic or online patient record access.

For one, it allows you to check your loved one's record while on the go. Second, it enables you to transfer the patient's records with ease in case you need to relocate.

Conclusion

Choosing a rehab facility for an elderly loved one can be challenging. After all, you would only want what is best for your family.

As such, it would be best to keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Facility accreditation
  2. Staff qualifications
  3. Suitable rehab programs
  4. Treatment plans
  5. Care and therapy frequency
  6. Supplemental services
  7. Family participation
  8. Discharge and insurance assistance
  9. Outpatient services
  10. Patient record access

When you consider these factors, you can rest assured that a senior receives the best care possible. You can also have peace of mind in knowing that qualified staff is looking after your loved one.

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