Long, drawn-out hospital stays are largely a thing of the past. When you go in for a scheduled surgery, like a knee or hip replacement, or even for an emergency, like a heart attack, the odds are good that you'll be discharged in a few days if all goes well. But even in the best possible scenario, it takes more than a few days in the hospital to recover from a major surgery or medical event. You'll need to gain strength and attend physical therapy, and you'll need some help with your personal care and daily activities. For many patients, a stay in a short-term rehab center is the answer. Take a look at how you can make your stay in a short-term rehab facility successful, so that you can be back home and on top of your game as soon as possible.
What Are Short-Term Rehab Centers?
First, you should understand what a rehab center is. These are skilled nursing facilities set up to provide round-the-clock inpatient care, medical management, and physical therapy for recovering patients. They can be standalone facilities, but many are attached to long-term care facilities like nursing homes. They're staffed by nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, physical therapists and rehabilitation aides, and various support staff. Like long-term care facilities, they have many of the amenities of the hospital, including hospital beds and medical equipment, but they also strive to seem less sterile and more homelike than a hospital.
Finding The Right Facility
Depending on where you live, you may have your choice of several short-term rehab centers that take your insurance. If you have time to plan, as you would before a scheduled surgery, take some time to check them out ahead of time. If you landed in the hospital unexpectedly, ask a family member or trusted friend to check out some rehabs before you are discharged.
A good facility will have rehab therapy available all week long, not just Monday through Friday. You should look for a center that has several RNs (registered nurses) available on all shifts, not just LPNs (licensed practical nurses). Look for a clean, cheerful environment and patients that seem happy and well-cared for. Get a look at the menu, make sure that there are social activities available, and that there are quiet and comfortable places where you can visit with guests. If possible, look for a facility that specializes in the specific kind of care you need, such as orthopedic or cardiovascular care.
Use Your Time Wisely
Being in a strange facility away from home, and not feeling physically well on top of it, can leave you feeling isolated, depressed, or simply unmotivated. But the time you spend in rehab is vital to your recovery, so make the most of it. Participate actively with the rehab staff in making a care plan and setting goals for yourself. If you're uncomfortable advocating for yourself, ask a family member or friend to sit in on your care plan meetings.
Don't be afraid to speak up. Let your nurses and therapists know if you're feeling depressed, if you're in more pain than usual, or if you're having difficulty eating or sleeping. They can't help you if you don't let them know. Participating in facility activities or inviting visitors to come and see you can boost your spirits when you're feeling low, and give you incentive to work hard on your recovery. Follow your therapist's instructions to the letter, both in the facility and after you leave. You don't want to try to do too much and end up reinjuring yourself, and you also don't want to do too little and delay your recovery.
If you choose the right facility and keep a positive attitude, your time in rehab may be more enjoyable than you think. But the most important thing is that your stay is only temporary, so do your best to get as much therapy, rest, and care as you can so that you're ready to resume your normal life when you return home. If you're looking for short-term rehabilitation or independent living in your area, visit The Village At Morrisons Cove.
Sometimes things don't work out as we have planned them to. Instead of being able to take care of your aging parent in your home for several years, it may prove to be more difficult than you first thought. I brought my mother to live with my family hoping to enjoy her final years with her, but it didn't work out well for any of us. I wasn't able to care for her the way that she deserved to be cared for. Our blog will provide you with information about making the decision to move your loved one into a nursing home.