John knew that his dad was only one hip fracture away from needing full time senior care services. At 80, John Sr is frail and shows some signs of cognitive decline. Yet it doesn’t stop him from doing his own shopping, housework and even sweeping the leaves off his front steps. John Jr has wanted his dad to either hire a live-in senior care aid or move to a senior living community before he has an accident or gets ill, but he will not do it. Now, John Sr is in the hospital recovering from a hip replacement and John Jr needs to figure out what steps to take next.
Understanding Senior Rehabilitation
A serious health event that requires hospitalization for an older adult is often traumatic for the patient and their loved ones. Whether hospitalization is caused by illness, injury or elective specialized surgery like a hip or knee replacement, how and where to rehab is an important decision for all involved.
Rehabilitation services after hospitalization may require a short or long-term stay in a nursing home or rehabilitative care community that includes physical, occupational and speech therapies, as well as skilled nursing care.
In fact, 14% of older adults live alone and nearly 50% of women over 75 live by themselves. Older partners or spouses may have physical limitations and not able provide appropriate care to a rehabilitating partner. Older adults may also suffer from dementia or cognitive decline. According to the American Association of Consultant Pharmacists, the average eighty year-old takes 18 prescriptions per year. Bathing, dressing, feeding, dispensing medications, transporting to doctor and rehab appointments along with other daily living tasks can be overwhelming for the caregiver.
Getting the right care after hospitalization discharge.
After hospitalization, rehabilitation services may be obtained at home by home care medical professionals, as an outpatient at a rehabilitation center, or in residence at a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility. Check with your insurance provider to learn about the fees and care opportunities associated with your policy while determining the best course of action for your elder and caregiver.
The benefits of in-residence rehabilitation at a rehabilitation or skilled nursing community
Choosing to stay in a short or long-term rehabilitation facility or skilled nursing community has many benefits and can increase the speed of a positive outcome.
- 24 hour per day skilled nursing and medical care. Healthcare providers are on hand to distribute medication, monitor all aspects of a patient’s health and recovery, implement preventative health strategies and enable early detection of complications.
- On site rehab facilities and therapists. There is no need to worry about transport to a rehab center or doctor appointments. Vetted, certified physical, occupational and speech therapists are on site along with aides to support maximizing rehab time. Rehab facilities will have up-to-date equipment where one can practice strength and balance training exercises under staff supervision.
- Recovery Motivation and Daily Living Needs. Socializing with other residents promotes emotional wellbeing and provides encouragement to achieve rehabilitation goals. Patients have assistance with daily living tasks and are provided with meals and activities.
- Retrofitted Living Environments. The living environment at a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facilities is designed for ease of use for canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs. Living spaces include motorized beds, lifts, and other assistance devices.
Planning for the Right Senior Care Services
When you go to a skilled nursing facility for post hospitalization senior rehabilitation services, a team of staff plans your care. Your care is based on your doctor’s orders and information the team gathers when they do daily assessments of your condition. Your doctor and the care team use the assessments to decide what services you need and your health goal. A health goal is the expected result of your treatment, like being able to walk a certain distance or to climb stairs.
Your daily assessments and skilled care start the day you arrive at the skilled nursing facility. Your Insurer (Medicare and other Health Insurances) will require that your assessments be recorded periodically to determine appropriate payment to the skilled nursing facility.
A similar process applies, should you decide to get your post-hospitalization rehabilitation at home with a home health care service. Your home health care will be based on your doctor’s orders and the home health care team will complete an assessment and plan of care to meet your health goal.
Senior Rehabilitation with Green Hill
Skilled nursing and rehabilitative services including physical and occupational therapy for seniors, are available at Green Hill in our Legacy community or in a Green House Home. Residents in the Green House Homes have a choice of utilizing the on-site equipment for therapy and daily practice, or to use the Rehabilitation Center in the Legacy building. Green House residents also enjoy home cooked meals and private rooms with private baths.
Green Hill provides resident therapists 7 days a week and skilled nursing staff and health aides are available 24 hours a day. Senior rehabilitation services at Green Hill provide seniors the opportunity to socialize with new friends, engage in a full calendar of entertainment and activities, and experience delicious meals and snacks all in one safe and convenient location. If one is not ready to return home, is at risk for further hospitalization, or has no caregiving support at home, continuing long term and short term stay options are available.