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What to Ask When Comparing Your Short-Term Rehab Options

a senior woman participates in short-term rehab

When you’re ready to leave the hospital but not ready to go home, short-term rehab offers care to support your recovery. With therapy and nursing care, short-term rehab facilities help you transition back to daily living. These facilities focus on therapy services such as speech, physical, and occupational therapy.

If you know you’ll need a short-term rehab stay after surgery, you can review your options ahead of time. Or, if your stay is more unexpected, the hospital may provide a list of options. In any case, you will want to ask each potential provider several questions about what you can expect.

Questions for short-term rehab facilities

It’s often helpful to take a tour of your short-term rehab options. However, in unexpected events, you may need to visit via video or phone. Whichever way you choose, use these questions to get the details you need.

  1. What are your facility’s areas of expertise?
    Different short-term rehab options may have therapists with different areas of expertise. Look for a facility that has experience in your condition, such as wound care, diabetes, or lymphedema. The facility should be able to personalize your care.
  2. What is covered by my insurance or Medicare?
    Before you choose a short-term rehab facility, you’ll want to ask about costs. Look for a location that will help verify your coverage beforehand. For those with Medicare, coverage rules apply. Visit Medicare.gov to get more details on who qualifies for short-term rehab coverage.
  3. What happens when I move from the hospital to rehab?
    Typically, a physician order for rehab is required. So that determines the date you move. Ask if the rehab facility has a liaison to help make this transition smoother. You should also ask how soon you’ll be evaluated after you arrive. Specifically, you want a facility that completes an assessment within the first day.
  4. What personal items do I need at rehab?
    You want to feel comfortable during your stay. Look for a facility that lets you bring comfort items to your room, like family photos or a blanket or pillow. You’ll also be able to wear your own clothes and will need closed-toed shoes for therapy.
  5. Who will be involved in planning my care?
    Look for a facility that involves you and your loved ones in the care team. You should be a part of the care planning with your providers. Your facility may monitor your progression during the initial week of your stay. From there, make sure you’ll be provided with a clear care plan that has goals and a timeline for your care.
  6. Who will care for me each day?
    When it comes to short-term rehab, you want a team approach to care. Ask about how your team will work together. Team members may include a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, social worker, and nurses.
  7. How many staff are available during each shift?
    Having the right staff available day and night is essential to safe care. You can ask how many patients the facility cares for at one time. Then, compare this to the number of nurses, including registered nurses and licensed practice nurses, as well as certified nursing assistants.
  8. When will I have therapy sessions?
    Short-term rehab facilities should offer consistent, planned care. This will help you make steady progress to your goals each day. Facilities should offer therapy five days a week.
  9. How do you support me when it’s time to leave?
    After you’ve met your short-term rehab goals, you may need continued therapy at home. Facilities should have a discharge planner to help you arrange these services. That way, you’ll be ready for your next step after you leave rehab.

Picking the best short-term rehab facility for you

You have your own unique rehab goals and health conditions. With this in mind, look for answers to your questions that will give you the support you need. Your overall feeling about each facility is important too. You want to feel confident and comfortable with your choice. In the long run, this will help you recover better.

At Walnut Place, we have expertise in many areas of rehab to help you get back to the life you love. With an entire floor dedicated to short-term rehab for seniors, we’re ready to support your recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our short-term rehab services in North Dallas.