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Is Short-Term Rehabilitation Necessary? Here’s Everything You Need to Know accent

November 1, 2022 | By

Surgeries, hospitalizations, and other procedures can take a toll on the body. For older adults, recovery time can be long and involved.

Many physicians will recommend short-term rehabilitation after a hospital stay to ensure a safe return home and to minimize the risk of rehospitalization.

As a caregiver, you might be familiar with short-term rehabilitation but unsure if it’s necessary for your loved one. Read on to learn about what it is, who it benefits, what you can expect from a short-term rehabilitation environment, and your options.

What Is Short-Term Rehabilitation?

Short-term rehabilitation — at times referred to as “short-term rehab,” “skilled care” or “skilled rehabilitation” — follows a qualified hospital stay and precedes a return home.

The reasons people enter short-term rehab are different, but the goal is the same: to provide them with the time and support they need to regain their independence and decrease the risk of hospital readmission. This goal is accomplished through specific therapy sessions, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

In short-term rehab, team members assist with daily tasks and provide healthy meals so clients can focus on recovery.

Who Is Short-Term Rehabilitation For?

Short-term rehab is often suggested by a client’s doctor when their recovery requires medical care and support. However, if it’s not suggested, it’s still worth asking about. It’s not uncommon for providers to discharge patients from an outpatient surgery without ordering short-term rehab, only to follow up a few weeks later and find that they are experiencing issues following the operation. At that point, it might be too late for therapy and additional surgery is the only solution.

Clients with the following health issues can benefit from this type of care:

1. Serious Injury or Surgery

After an injury or surgery, a client can benefit from short-term rehab to promote a successful recovery through care from a team of experts.

Recovery from orthopedic or joint replacement surgery is conducted by physical therapists who guide clients through exercises that strengthen muscles, improve circulation, reduce pain, and prevent future injuries.

Clients can also benefit from occupational therapy to overcome physical limitations and regain everyday skills.

2. Serious Illnesses or Accidents

Adults experiencing the aftereffects of serious illness, such as pneumonia or COVID-19, benefit from physical, occupational, and speech therapy to regain the ability to speak clearly, eat and drink independently, get ready for the day, and accomplish other everyday tasks.

Long-lasting mobility issues caused by lower back injuries, falls, or other serious accidents can be prevented with an attentive physical therapy program.

3. Heart Failure

Clients who experienced heart failure benefit from physical therapy to restore function, reduce pain and complications, increase daily activity, improve mobility, and prevent permanent disability.

Clients experiencing cardiac and pulmonary conditions are closely monitored and cared for by short-term rehabilitation caregivers who ensure they receive the proper therapy, medicine, physical activity, and nutrition.

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4. Neuromuscular Inefficiencies

Neuromuscular rehabilitation therapy helps clients retrain their bodies for the demands of daily life through various therapies that build muscles, train reflexes, and optimize physical capacity.

5. Stroke

Stroke rehabilitation helps clients regain independence and improve their quality of life. Through a series of therapies, clients relearn skills lost after a stroke, such as movement, speech, and strength.

What Services Do Rehabilitation Centers Provide?

The short-term rehabilitation environment is focused on continuing the recovery that began in the hospital to help the client regain strength, health, and function.

Clients are active participants in their treatment plans through a single therapy or a combination of three therapies:

  • Physical therapy treats abnormal function through exercises that build balance, flexibility, strength, and endurance. If necessary, therapists show clients how to safely use new mobility devices.
  • Occupational therapy helps clients regain everyday skills through sessions that focus on daily activities, such as bending over to put clothes in the dryer, performing tasks in the kitchen, and more.
  • Speech therapy addresses challenges with speech, communication, language, and swallowing. This therapy is especially important for adults with cognitive difficulties caused by life-altering events, such as a stroke.

The length of stay depends on why the client is receiving rehabilitation care. Someone recovering from a knee replacement may need a week or so of therapy, whereas someone recovering from a stroke might need more time to rebuild their strength.

The average length of stay for most WesleyLife clients is less than three weeks. As an organization, we do our utmost to make sure medical care is provided no longer than needed to ensure a good outcome.

What Is Short-Term Rehabilitation Like at a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living?

At a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living, clients benefit from the exceptional service provided by therapists, nurses, and other team members who are dedicated to creating the optimal environment for recovery.

Unlike other programs, short-term rehabilitation at a WesleyLife community is not comparable to rehabilitating in a hospital. The amount of square footage dedicated to living space is significant, beds aren’t crammed into small spaces, and clients experience the many social benefits, culinary experiences, and amenities available in a community.

Plus, neighbors, friends, and family members are encouraged to visit. Visits are made easy with plenty of spaces to entertain and multiple entrances for guests to park nearby.

Finally, once clients are ready to return home, the WesleyLife At-Home team is available to assist with household activities, including meal preparation or housekeeping. Therapists are also available to continue a client’s progress at home.

Regain Independence With Short-Term Rehabilitation at WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living

Short-term rehabilitation can be a beneficial component of the healing process for those who require it. By working with WesleyLife caregivers and professionals, your loved one can safely return home and continue to live a life of independence.

Ready to find the right community near you? Explore our communities that offer short-term rehabilitation.

Ready for the next chapter of your life? Find the best fit for you with out Senior Living Community Evaluation Checklist


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