After a serious medical event that requires not only hospitalization, but also rehabilitation services, you need to choose post-rehabilitation placement carefully. Although seniors may want to return to their homes right away, this may not be the safest option. Communities with nursing services offer the opportunity for seniors to recuperate in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Choosing the Right Post-Rehab Community

Once a senior completes rehabilitation, he or she may not be aware of the numerous options available to them. Along with family members, rehabilitation staff members should be part of the decision-making process since they will be able to recommend what level of care the senior needs following discharge.

Every patient responds differently during the rehabilitation period. Despite daily rehabilitation services, the patient may still not have met all his or her goals. For instance, if a patient has suffered a stroke, he or she may not have yet reached the goal of being able to get dressed and feed independently. Here are a few reasons a senior may not be able to go home immediately after rehabilitation:

  • Insurance Coverage-In-home care options may be limited and not offer enough support as the senior heals. Insurance coverage may not be adequate enough for home health services around the clock
  • Memory Loss-If the rehabilitation notes signs of dementia during the senior’s hospital stay; home may not be the safest option
  • Safety Concerns-A senior’s home may not be setup to accommodate assistive devices such as wheelchairs and walkers. If the senior lives in a home with large staircases, this could become problematic too
  • Familial Limitations-Family members often have their own obligations such as work and children. It could be difficult to find a family member able to provide round-the-clock care required by the recovering senior. If family members aren’t able to visit often and the senior feels isolated, this could lead to feelings of helplessness and depression

The good news is senior living communities have started offering more options for those who need care following a rehabilitation stay. Communities offer both long-term and short-term options for new residents. As part of the decision process, you’ll want to inquire about what type of services are available onsite and ensure each senior has an individualized care management plan.

Post-Care Options

The senior’s medical needs will largely factor into the best placement for him or her. Here are a few possibilities that the senior’s medical staff may recommend:

  • Respite Care-Patients may only require a short stay in a community that offers personal care assistance. Respite care patients will have their meals taken care of, their private rooms cleaned and errands like laundry taken care of. Staff will help with medication and assist with daily tasks. Socialization opportunities are also built into a daily schedule
  • Personal Care-Sometimes respite care patients become long-term residents because of their enjoyment of being so well cared for. Or, the senior may decide to stay in the community if independent living options are available
  • Short Term Skilled Nursing-Nursing care services are available within the community for as long as the senior requires them. 24-hour nursing care is provided along with psychiatrists, nutritionists, recreation programs, social services, medical doctors and more. Long-term placement is possible if needed

Questions to Ask Before Discharge

Before discharge from any rehabilitation facility, a care-planning meeting needs to occur. During the meeting, family members and staff will discuss the patient’s current prognosis and whether he or she has met treatment goals. Prepare ahead of time with questions to ask staff members. For instance, the facility may have recommendations for communities that can best serve the recovering senior. Once you have settled on a community, the rehabilitation center needs to get in touch with the staff at the nursing home. All medical records need to be sent prior to the patient’s move. Also, ask the rehabilitation about any assistance they offer at the time of discharge. For instance, do they have any transportation services available? Can they set a time for the senior to say goodbye to staff and other residents? If the senior has been in the facility for an extended period of time, he or she may have grown close to many of the people there.

Benefits of a Senior Care Community

The main benefit of a senior care community is that family members and seniors will know that they are being well taken care of during the recovery process. When nursing care services are available, the healing process is likely to speed up. Complications are less likely to arise and if they do, staff is available to help. Residents are getting three square meals that are nutritious and are encouraged to socialize. Communities are accessible and include accommodations such as bell systems and shower bars.

PPH is here to help seniors as they transition from rehabilitation care. Our community is welcoming and our staff members are highly trained professionals. Contact us today for more information.