Short-term Skilled Rehabilitation Can Facilitate More Rapid Recovery

Each year there are approximately 35 million admissions to U.S. hospitals. Patients are often being discharged sooner and sicker than before, thereby they often need additional care before they can return home. Skilled rehabilitation is a level of care that is a step down from hospital care and is provided in nursing home facilities. This includes providing daily nursing care, assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing and toileting as well as therapy services. The goal is to support the patient while they finish their recovery allowing them to return home safely to finish their recovery.

Why Chose Skilled Rehabilitation?

Many patients simply wish to return home after a hospital stay. However, their care needs are often more than they or their families can manage. Patients may have difficulty in the fallowing areas: ambulating, be unable to safely navigate stairs, have complicated medication regimens or new medications that need frequent adjustments, need assistance with their ADLS, dressing changes multiple times a day or even require 24-hour care. These needs are often greater than what family members can provide. Also, these needs are often greater than the intermittent care and service that skilled homecare agencies can provide. Short-term skilled rehabilitation can meet the patient’s needs; facilitate more rapid recovery and a quicker return to baseline function, while also reducing the need for hospital readmission.

What is Geriatric Rehabilitation?

Geriatric rehabilitation is a program of skilled rehabilitation that incorporates specialized and coordinated interdisciplinary care to allow patients to return home more quickly and with more independence when compared to a traditional skilled rehabilitation facility. A geriatrician provides the patient’s medical care and works with a geriatric trained nurse practitioner. The staff is educated on geriatric syndromes and medical conditions that commonly affect older adults. They work collaboratively with the patient and their family to establish discharge goals and a comprehensive discharge plan. This plan often includes skilled homecare and other services that are appropriate to meet the patient’s needs at discharge. The patient’s length of stay at the geriatric rehabilitation facility is often shorter than a traditional skilled facility due to this high level of coordinated care.

Why Choose Geriatric Rehabilitation Over Traditional Skilled Care?

*To receive medical management provided by a geriatrician and nurse practitioner

*Physician/NP visits twice weekly and as needed vs. once weekly to monthly with traditional   care

*To have the patient’s progress and discharge plan reviewed weekly by the interdisciplinary team

*To get coordination of home going services (i.e., homecare, passport, and private duty care)

*To have a shorter length of stay––average 15 days

*To prevent re-hospitalization and allow discharge to home

How to Arrange to go to a Geriatric Rehabilitation Facility?

Some patients have surgeries or hospital admissions that are planned in advance. This allows you––the patient––and your loved ones to tour facilities such as Bath Manor and Windsong prior to your hospitalization, talk to admissions staff, and make arrangements for your rehab stay. If your hospitalization is not planned, either you or your loved ones can ask the hospital discharge planners to help arrange a geriatric rehabilitation stay. A patient that has been recently discharged from the hospital but is having difficulty caring for themselves and/or managing their healthcare may still benefit from a geriatric rehabilitation stay. Either you or your loved ones should contact the facility and the physician to see if they are appropriate for direct admission.

How do I Ensure my Rehabilitation Success?

Choosing a facility that specifically provides geriatric rehabilitation is a first step. Make sure you have a current list of your home medications and a complete medical history. If you are unable to speak for yourself, your POA or family spokesman should come to the facility with you on admission to help answer questions. You should have comfortable clothing and shoes to allow you to fully participate in your therapy. Daily participation in your rehabilitation, along with patient/family meetings is instrumental in setting up your home-going plan. If anyone plans to help and support you at home have him or her come to the facility for training to ensure that they are fully prepared for their care-giving role. If there are any questions, please contact Bath Manor or Windsong to help assist you with these questions.