Your parent has recently overcome an illness, surgery or injury and needs the professional, around-the-clock services provided at a rehabilitation center to get back to their normal day-to-day activities. But how do you know which rehabilitation center is right for your parent? You likely have a short time to determine which center to choose, so we’ve created this blog to help you get a head start.
What is a Rehabilitation Center?
A rehabilitation center is where your parent can receive health care and therapeutic services as an inpatient to get back to their active lifestyle after a health-related issue, such as a surgery, injury or illness. The services provided at a rehabilitation center are meant to improve physical strength and foster independence as residents travel up the road of recovery. They often provide physical therapy, pain management, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medication management, help with daily activities, health education, guided exercises, and more.
Do Your Research
Start your research with a simple internet search. Many states provide easy-to-access online databases that include customer reviews and inspection results. While some online review sites provide a star rating system, the rating is not a substitute for meeting the staff in person, understanding their services, and checking out the cleanliness of the rehabilitation center. Always be sure to look deeper than the star rating. Find out how long the average stay is and about the follow up procedure once a guest returns home. Proper follow-up procedures can help keep your parent from returning to the hospital.
Short-Term versus Long-Term Rehab
During your research, you’ll want to find out if the center provides short-term or long-term rehabilitation services. What type of health issue is your parent working to overcome? Is he or she recovering from a small procedure, or a more advanced medical issue? The seriousness of their overall health issues will determine if they need short or long-term rehab. Some centers offer both kinds of rehabilitation, while some only specialize in one.
Pay Special Attention
When visiting a rehabilitation center, pay special attention to several things. First, pay close attention to how the staff interacts with you, your parent, and current residents. Do they greet you warmly? Are they helpful, friendly, and attentive? Do they interact well with current residents?
Second, pay close attention to the environment. The physical surroundings are often as important as the quality of services provided. Is it clean and odor-free? Is it well lit, easily navigated and comfortable?
Ask Questions and Get Answers
When visiting rehabilitation centers, take the time to talk to staff members, especially those who specialize in the areas of care your parent may need. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions, and get all the answers you need to make an informed decision. Does the rehabilitation center honor personal care preferences? Do they have predetermined staff-to-resident ratios? How many days a week do they provide rehab services? Who will notify you if care needs change?
Speak with the professionals and investigate the process of creating personalized care plans. Identify who will assess your loved one’s needs and discuss how changing health care needs are handled. If possible, talk to current or past residents about their experiences.
Don’t limit your questions to those relating to health care. Ask to tour the center, look at residences, try the food, and explore community rooms. Try to see and experience as much of the center as possible during your visit.
Planning for Other Levels of Care
Is it possible that your parent will need to transition to Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing after their recovery at the rehabilitation center? Consider looking at centers that also offer Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing services on the same campus. If your parent chooses to transition to Assisted Living after rehabilitation, the transition may be easier if they are already familiar with the center and its staff members.
For more information on how to choose the right rehabilitation center, call Wesley Place on Honeysuckle at 334-792-0921.