If your elderly loved one needs transitional rehabilitative care, here are some questions you should ask before choosing a facility.
 
1. Does the facility specialize in rehabilitation? 
The rehabilitation facility you choose should have specialists including physicians, nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists; recreational therapists, and case managers. All of these specialists work together to develop an individualized treatment plan for your loved one.
 

2. What percentage of patients are sent home after receiving care?

Try to determine if the rehabilitation facility will be able to return your elderly parent or loved one to the highest level of function possible. 

 

3. How many transition to longterm care or nursing home care? Is that available at the same rehab facility?

One indicator of effective rehabilitation is how successful a center is in returning patients to their home. Of course, this isn’t always possible, depending on your parent’s condition or health problem.
 
4. What are the staff’s qualifications? 
The facility you choose should be accredited by The Joint Commission (formerly the JCAHO) or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Ask about the qualifications of the nurse aids who will be doing the day-to-day care of patients. Has the facility had any issues with patient abuse or neglect? Does the facility do background screening of their employees? What is the turnover rate of their nursing staff?
 
5. Is there a “continuum of care?” 
The rehabilitation process does not end with his or her stay in a rehab facility. Patients require varying levels of care before and after their inpatient stay. Some therapies your parent may need include outpatient therapy at a rehab facility, in-home physical therapy, or long-term inpatient care.
 
6. Is the facility experienced in treating your parent’s condition? 
Did your loved one have a hip replacement, brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke or orthopedic procedure? Make sure the staff is experienced in the condition your loved one has. Specialists are more sensitive to the patient’s needs, have the right experience and will provide more creative treatments—all of which lead to a stronger recovery.
 
7. What is the average length of stay?
Based on your parent’s condition, how long, on average, have other patients stayed in the rehab facility? What about people with the same condition as your parent?
 
8. How many hours of therapy a day will there be?
Your loved one is in rehab, to be rehabilitated. Lying in bed for hours at a time will not help them recover. Research how many hours of therapy are needed per day, based on your parent’s condition. Then, make sure this number matches the amount of therapy the facility provides.
 
9. What should your parent bring?
What items—such as toiletries, hearing aids, clothing, and money—are allowed at the facility? Are personal items such as personal furniture, favorite photographs, memorabilia allowed?
 
10. How can family members get involved?

Are family conferences offered to keep family members informed of the patient’s progress? What are visiting hours, and how long can family members stay? Can they eat with their loved ones?

If you’d like to talk about your particular situation, please call Edie Belue at 256-232-3461 and she’ll be happy to answer your questions or concerns.