nurse helping senior woman with a walker

If you have a loved one soon to be discharged following a hospital stay, you may be concerned about the next step in their recovery process. They’ll need extra support as they work to regain strength and function after an illness, injury or surgery. But what’s the best setting for this support? Short-term rehabilitation can take place in an inpatient setting or at home. Understanding the specific characteristics of each type of rehabilitation can help you decide which is right for your loved one.

What Is Short-Term Rehabilitation?

Short-term rehab typically involves services such as physical, occupational and speech therapies that support your loved one’s recovery process. When ordered by a doctor, both at-home care and inpatient rehab are likely to be covered by Medicare or private insurance.

There aren’t hard and fast rules dictating which kind of rehab is most appropriate for specific situations. In fact, there are studies that show that after knee replacement surgery, patients may recover equally successfully at home or in a rehab center. Nevertheless, depending on your loved one’s circumstances and condition, you may find one type of rehab to be more suitable for their recovery. Here’s what you need to know:

Inpatient Support at a Rehabilitation Center

During their short-term stay in a rehab center, your loved one has access to round-the-clock support from a multidisciplinary team of professionals. Daily meals are provided, as is assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, going to the bathroom and bathing. Patients work with occupational, physical, and speech therapists, as needed, and have access to a variety of planned activities designed to entertain, engage, and provide opportunities to socialize with others.

Post-hospital care in a rehabilitation center may be the best choice if your loved one:

  • Is recovering from a significant event such as heart attack or stroke
  • Has chronic health conditions that may complicate recovery
  • Lives alone or with someone who can’t offer adequate support
  • Doesn’t have transportation to follow-up appointments
  • Would need home modifications to recover comfortably in their house
  • Lacks a network of friends or family with the time or capacity to offer assistance
  • Requires complex arrangements that may be difficult for them or a loved one to manage

Outpatient or In-Home Rehabilitation

With outpatient rehabilitation, your loved one will be discharged to their home and will make regular visits to a rehab center to receive the therapies they need for recovery. Some rehab centers offer a bonus feature: Therapists come to your loved one’s home to provide regular rehab sessions.

While many people would prefer to recover in the comfort of their own homes, outpatient therapy doesn’t necessarily work well for everyone. Typically it’s best for people who:

  • Are self-motivated and will continue to practice their rehab exercises even when the therapist isn’t there to encourage them
  • Are recovering from mild health issues that typically respond well to outpatient therapy
  • Have transportation to follow-up appointments
  • Have the capacity or support system necessary to cope with medication management and personal care tasks such as bathing, dressing, and going to the bathroom
  • Have a support network to help with meals, grocery shopping and other household tasks
  • Have friends and family who will offer stimulation, entertainment, and social engagement
  • Live in a home that will accommodate their needs or are willing to make necessary home modifications, such as a ramp or chair lift
  • Are willing to employ in-home aides or care providers to fill any gaps in their support

Short-Term Rehabilitation in Basking Ridge, NJ or in the Comfort of Your Own Home

f you’re still unsure which choice is best for your loved one, you can ask for input from their doctor or the discharge planner at the hospital. It can also help to know the options available in your community. If you’re in the Basking Ridge, New Jersey area, Fellowship Senior Living offers multiple rehabilitation options for community residents and residents of Fellowship Village. We offer inpatient senior rehabilitation, outpatient senior rehabilitation and, for those who prefer to receive therapy in the comfort of their own home, our Therapy at Home team comes to you. Contact us to find out more about rehabilitation services through Fellowship Senior Living.