Senior rehabilitation services involve specialized care that helps patients regain mobility, strength, and function as much as possible after an illness, injury, or other medical event. There are a variety of services offered as well as settings where you may receive those services.
If you or a loved one are in need of senior rehabilitation services, you may be confused by the number of options. Below is a basic guide for those new to senior rehab explaining how it all works. This will help you formulate questions for your hospital care team and help you choose the best plan for treatment.
How Does Senior Rehabilitation Work?
In an inpatient rehabilitation care center, most common for seniors, residents receive around-the-clock care and supervision with regularly monitored progress. Days are usually structured, with residents participating in the various types of therapy they need.
Rehabilitation services are designed to help residents regain their previous function so they can live as independently as possible. Stays can range from days to months, and there are typically three basic levels of care depending on the patient’s needs:
Assistance with your activities of daily living, medical supervision, help with walking and personal care, and other safety needs.
Comprehensive care to help residents with an acute illness, injury, or flare-up of a chronic condition.
Registered nurses work with your family members and doctor to create a personalized rehab program that promotes healing from traumatic injury, intensive surgery, or other serious conditions.
What does rehabilitation care include?
There are generally three main types of therapy provided in senior rehabilitation care:
Physical therapy treats a disease or disability through exercise, including training for specific physical movements like bed mobility and wheelchair positioning. It can help speed up the recovery process, improving balance, mobility, strength, and flexibility. This type of therapy is usually recommended after a serious injury or major surgery like a joint replacement, but can also help with pain management for chronic conditions like osteoporosis.
Occupational therapy assists patients with regaining the ability to conduct basic daily activities independently. This can include eating, grooming, housekeeping, and more. This type of therapy is vital for those recovering from illness or injury, and provides tools to help with the early stages of memory loss.
Speech-language therapy helps residents improve their communication skills and also helps with difficulty swallowing. This is especially helpful after a stroke or traumatic brain injury, and includes can go hand-in-hand with occupational therapy by sharing techniques with patients to decrease the risk of choking.
An Average Day in Rehabilitation Care
Senior rehabilitation centers like Meadowood’s feature a homelike environment. Instead of a hospital gown, you can wear your own clothing and have a private living space. You’ll spend your days participating in the therapies and treatments needed for your condition. Here’s a look at an average day:
In the morning, the staff will make rounds to help residents with their morning activities like bathing, dressing, and grooming before breakfast. After breakfast, you’ll do your physical therapy exercises to help you rebuild strength, balance, and coordination.
You’ll have the opportunity to socialize with other residents during lunch before your afternoon therapy sessions. Depending on your needs, you may work with a speech-language pathologist to improve swallowing and communication skills, or you may spend time with an occupational therapist focusing on doing daily activities.
The evening is a great time to visit with family or friends who have stopped by to see you. Meadowood also offers a variety of activities so you can keep your mind stimulated — our staff is committed to ensuring residents are never bored!
Choosing a Senior Rehabilitation Facility
You or your loved one may need temporary rehabilitation services or a new home in a long-term care community. It’s important to consider future needs in addition to what’s needed today, and often the best way to do that is to choose a solution that offers multiple levels of care ranging from totally independent living to skilled nursing assistance. Life plan communities manage both the needs of today and the needs of tomorrow, so many of the patients taking advantage of our senior rehabilitation services are residents of our independent living community.
Meadowood is unique in that it also offers short-term rehabilitation services, with local hospitals referring patients to us thanks to our distinguished reputation as a provider. Many of these patients decide to become long-term independent living residents because their experience with our community and our care team is so positive. Receiving care is incredibly convenient for residents, with everything they need right here in our Lansdale campus. The team also goes beyond day-to-day rehabilitation care to reach out to the wider community with educational series’ and events like Balance Screening.
Our partnership with MossRehab, the largest provider of physical medicine and rehabilitation in the Philadelphia region, has allowed us to offer the best care possible to both our residents and referral patients. A member of the Einstein Healthcare Network and Jefferson Health, Moss programs are regularly recognized for clinical excellence and above-average outcomes. They have substantial accreditations and recognition for being both a national and world leader in the field and are recognized as one of the nation’s best rehabilitation services as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
“Moss is very supportive of their therapists, and they’re very proactive in making sure we are working to improve ourselves as therapists on a regular basis with education and training we’re expected to complete in addition to our clinical licensing requirements,” says Joy Macdonald, director of Rehabilitation Services for Meadowood.
The incredibly low turnover rate in the rehabilitation program also attests to how valued our program is not only by patients but also by the incredibly skilled therapists who support those patients.
“I’ve been here for over 13 years now, and all of our therapists have been here for at least 7 years,” adds Macdonald. “One of the reasons it’s rare for a therapist to move on from Meadowood is that our team collaborates so closely and supports one another so much. And that translates to better care for the patient. We do a patient satisfaction survey after every stay, and we average 98-100% Very Satisfied with everything! It’s very gratifying to know patients feel cared for and are getting what they need from us, and that drives us to continue going above and beyond for them.”
Ready to Check Out Our Rehab Services for Yourself?
It’s always best to visit a senior rehabilitation center first to get a first-hand look at the facilities. If you’re interested in learning more about our campus and our senior rehab options, request a brochure or schedule a visit!