By Brenda Diaz
Surgery, whether expected or unexpected, is no walk in the park. It is painful, and in most circumstances, recuperation takes much longer than one anticipates.
Selecting a rehabilitation center can be quite an undertaking, especially if it is for an unexpected injury. There are outpatient rehabilitation centers and in patient care centers. There are benefits to both establishments — your choice depends on the needs of the patient. Outpatient care can be provided in a clinical setting, patient’s home or hospital outpatient department. In this scenario, the patient returns to the comfort of his or her home each day.
However, they do have exercises they must perform at home. Without the proper supervision, some patients can do too little or too much — both can have negative effects on a patient’s recovery time. An inpatient care center allows the patient to focus on their recovery without life’s daily distractions. Inpatient care also offers the peace of mind of having 24 hour care if needed.
It is very important to tour the facility where you are interested in having your therapy. It should be inviting, clean, have a friendly staff and also an acceptable patient care rating. After all, if you decide to rehabilitate there, it will be your second home.
When considering a rehabilitation center, there are some important questions to ask to be able to make this important decision. Does the facility specialize in a specific injury? How many patients have been treated with your injury? What has been their success rate with your type of injury? How large is their therapy staff (physical therapists, occupational therapist, speech therapy)? Are they are a dedicated staff? Do they travel? Will you be assigned to one therapist? Being able to create a relationship with one or a few therapists can make your therapy move along a bit quicker.
How many days per week are residents seen for therapy? Some facilities see patients seven days per week, while others do not have weekend coverage. What is the length of the treatment sessions? Do they offer home evaluations? Home evaluations are beneficial to create a plan of action for your return home. What types of equipment does the facility have available? Some facilities have recumbent bikes, recumbent steppers, a gym area and a mock kitchen. The gyms provide the strengthening portion and the kitchen offers a homelike atmosphere offering patients a smoother transition to their home duties.
Consider the following before choosing the rehab that is right for you:
Does the facility specialize in one type of injury or do they accept all types of injuries? A facility that specializes in your type of injury may provide the quickest recovery time. However, a generalized facility could yield the same results. Be sure to ask if they offer a care plan meeting that your family members can attend.
Brenda Diaz is the director of community relations at Wingate Healthcare. She can be reached at Wingate of Needham or Wingate of Sudbury, 781-707-6106. Visit their website at www.wingatehealthcare.com and wingatehealthcare.com/location_needham. Archives of articles from previous issues can be read on fiftyplusadvocate.com.