Most people don’t think about rehabilitation until they need it. Even then, it’s often a physician or other health care professional who recommends rehab to continue a person’s recovery after a disabling illness, injury or surgery.
The goal of a skilled nursing facility/rehab unit is to return a person to his or her own home as safely as possible to resume what were the ordinary activities of daily living before the illness or injury.
Inpatient rehab or acute care facilities known as skilled nursing facilities allow patients to stay for days, weeks or months, depending on their conditions. Most patients who are admitted to a rehab facility are recovering from injuries or illnesses that severely impair their physical functioning or understanding. This could include strokes, chronic pulmonary problems, neurological disorders, joint replacements, surgery, wounds or other debilitating conditions.
There are several things to consider when choosing a rehab unit or skilled care facility:
• Does the facility offer 24-hour nursing care?
• What size is the facility? Is it small enough so the patient doesn’t feel “lost in the crowd”?
• What physicians go to the facility? If your primary physician is attending at a facility, it can be a smooth transition. Ask your physician to refer you to one. The attending physician there will be your acting physician while you are a patient at the facility.
• Is the staff friendly? Do you feel comfortable and welcomed at the facility?
• Ask the therapists questions. Let them know your expectations and find out what their expectations are of you. Ask about their therapy outcomes with current and past patients.
Choosing a rehab facility is a very individualized choice. You can ask friends and family what they know about local facilities, but then visit them yourself to form your own opinion.
Once you have made your decision, let the facility know you want to be admitted following your hospitalization.
The writer is director of admissions and marketing at The Pavilion Rehab and Skilled Care in Sidney. For information about services there, call 492-9591.