Why Do Seniors Need Rehabilitation?
Every year, about one third of seniors over the age of 65 suffer from a debilitating fall. That number only increases the older the senior gets, with over half of elderly people age 80 and older falling annually. These types of falls can lead to hip fractures and other injuries, and account for 25% of all hospital admissions. In fact, at least 250,000 older adults are hospitalized each year for hip fractures. After a stay in the hospital, the majority of these seniors enter a rehabilitation facility for further recovery.
Senior rehabilitation is also necessary for recovery from major surgery, especially hip replacement surgery. The elderly also often require rehabilitation after an event like stroke, which is the number one cause of serious adult disability in the country. It’s also needed when a senior suffers from a heart attack or other cardiovascular event, as well as for management of neuromuscular disorders.
Choosing a Senior Rehabilitation Facility
When researching senior rehabilitation centers for your loved one, keep in mind first and foremost that location is extremely important. You’ll want to be able to easily visit and offer your support, plus you may need to receive training for post-rehabilitative care. It’s recommended to take a tour of the facility and talk to staff members in order to get a feel for the environment, too.
Some of the questions you should ask before you choose a rehabilitation facility include:
- What is the average length of stay?
- Does the rehabilitation facility have experience and a proven track record of caring for your loved one’s particular condition?
- How often will therapy be provided each day?
- How are treatment plans developed?
- What types of services and amenities are available to residents during their stay?
- What does your loved one need to bring along to the rehabilitation facility?
Getting Back to an Independent Lifestyle with Senior Rehabilitation
A stay in a rehabilitation facility can last anywhere from a few days to several months. Short term rehabilitation generally lasts a few days to a month, and long term rehabilitation is needed for one to three months or even longer. When your loved one is ready to leave the facility, the staff or a social worker on staff will make arrangements for them to return home, with the goal being that they are able to live as independently as possible.
You and/or your loved one will be taught how to manage medications, including how much and how much longer to take them. They’ll also be instructed on how to continue doing their physical therapy exercises at home, ensuring that strength and mobility will be restored and they’ll be healthier than they were before entering the rehabilitation facility. If necessary, an in-home health aide may be scheduled to stop by and help with post-care.
Make sure to view our latest infographic, Choosing a Senior Rehabilitation Facility, for more information!