A Guide to Senior Rehabilitation Programs

a senior citizen in a wheelchair with a nurse

Recovering from an injury or surgery can be complicated for seniors. As they age, they may need additional assistance from professionals to make their recovery much faster and as comfortable as possible. Fortunately, there are nursing facilities that offer rehabilitation programs that help senior patients with their recovery.

Knollwood Nursing Center explains that these facilities consist of skilled nurses who provide excellent care to patients. Understanding how senior rehabilitation programs work will help you determine what program will suit a loved one to recover effectively.

The Two Types of Senior Rehabilitation Program

When you consider taking a rehabilitation program, one of the things you should know is whether to opt for short-term rehabilitation or a long-term one. This will depend on the condition of the patient.

The physician may recommend a short-term rehab program for a patient who has minor health problems. The program typically lasts for a few days up to one month. But when a patient faces a more complicated health issue, long-term rehab program may be necessary.

You may find facilities that offer short-term and long-term programs, but there are some that only focus on certain programs. You have to make sure that the facility has certified staff to ensure that you receive the right treatment.

Features of Rehabilitation Programs

Senior rehabilitation facilities provide three levels of care. Each level depends on the patient’s condition, their needs, and the length of rehabilitation. These levels of care include:

  • Basic care – patients who receive this care get assistance with their daily activities, personal care, supervision with medication, and more.
  • Skilled Care – in this level of care, certified nurses will provide basic treatments and perform procedures for patients. The skilled nurses will help them recover effectively, be it from a surgery, an injury, or an illness.
  • Sub-Acute – this level of care consists of comprehensive care services dedicated to helping senior patients who experience acute injuries, illnesses, and others. Licensed therapists provide therapies that aim to increase the patient’s strength and functioning. The therapies vary on what your loved one will need, whether it’s to improve balance, to help them move their legs again, and improve cardio fitness among others.

When taking sub-acute care, your nurse or therapist can give you medical care, including wound management, respiratory care, pain management, and more. These must be provided only by certified professionals.

Rehabilitative Care in Nursing Facilities

According to Medicaid, there are instances in which services in nursing facilities may be more immediately available than long-term care options, for individuals age 21 and older. This is because states may not limit access to these services or subject patients to waiting lists since these types of care can be home- and community-based services.

Nursing facilities taking part in Medicaid need to provide or arrange for related services and special rehabilitative care. These services need to ensure the physical, mental, and psychosocial wellbeing of every patient, young and old.

For your senior loved one, the doctor may consider a rehabilitation program when the patient suffers from health complications, such as:

  • Stroke
  • Orthopedic complications
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Pulmonary problems
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Head injury and spinal cord injury

Health should take priority; it’s especially crucial as one ages. When your parents, spouse, and other loved ones have been injured or had surgery, ask your physician about rehabilitative care. Proper medical attention will allow them to recover faster.