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Reflecting On Rehab: Six Considerations When Choosing Your Post-Operative Short Term Care

If you are recovering from surgery and require short term care in a professional setting, you may want to research your options. Choose a short term rehabilitation facility based on your individual needs and preferences. You may want to ask about private versus shared rooms, therapy services, transportation to medical appointments, dining and visitation.

What is Short Term Rehab?

In a nutshell, short term post-operative rehabilitation is designed to help you recover and get back to your regular routine after being discharged from the hospital. It's a way to help you make the transition from hospital to home while receiving physical and occupational therapy, as well as wound care and pain management service from a trained staff. Your stay at the short term rehab center may be anywhere from a few days to a few months or longer.

To help you make the right choice when deciding on a facility, consider the following:

1. Private Versus Semi-Private or Shared Rooms

Some short term care facilities offer suites with a private bathroom and kitchenette. On the other hand, your facility may provide shared rooms only. Would you feel uncomfortable sharing a room with another, or do you prefer the company of a shared room during your stay? You may also have the option of a semi-private room with shared bathroom. These are considerations to ponder when choosing your short-term care.

2. Therapy Services

In order to help you regain lost functions after your surgery, you may need individualized sessions and training with a therapist. Is there a well-equipped therapy room designed to facilitate recovery and restore mobility? In addition to a physical therapy and exercise program designed for your individual needs,will you receive occupational therapy during your stay? Occupational therapy may help you function to the fullest and assist you with daily activities, such as dressing, bathing and daily care.

3. Provided Transportation

During your stay at the short term rehabilitation facility, you may need transportation to and from your medical appointments. This is an important consideration if your post-operative condition prevents you from driving. Many short term care programs offer transportation, so you might want to make your selection with this in mind.

4. Meals and Dining Options

During your recovery period, a nutritional diet will help you heal quicker. Is there a group dining room for all guests or a separate dining area for individuals? Is a menu selection available for three daily meals and snacks? Also, if you're on a restricted diet, you will need to be sure your needs are met. If you have special dietary requirements, ask if there are on-site dietitians trained in nutritional requirements for your needs.

5. Visitation

During your stay, you may wish to have visitors. Is this permitted? Inquire about visitation hours. Keep in mind, your visitation privileges may be limited to specific hours, especially if you're sharing a room with another. Open visitation is a convenience for many, as this offers the freedom of having visitors when you wish.

6. Assigned Case Manager

This trained individual will help you coordinate your recovery program after your discharge. This may include medication and pain management, as well as education and awareness. The case worker may work directly with social services to assist you with other needs, such as helping you determine if you qualify for financial assistance through Medicare.

If you are undecided on what center might best suit your needs, schedule a tour. If you're unable to make the visit yourself, have a trusted friend or loved one go for you. Getting a feel for the facility, staff and operation may help you decide.