Physical therapist helping an elderly woman with walking during her short-term rehabilitation stay

Finding the Right Short-Term Rehab After Surgery

For post-acute care, you or a loved one may need short-term rehabilitation before safely returning home. Short-term rehab provides exceptional benefits to those recovering from surgery, injury, stroke or other serious health issues — bringing the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ll receive the care and therapies you need to get back to your optimal health.

With staff available 24/7 and a comprehensive offering of services, senior rehabilitation centers create an environment that helps older adults gain their strength and confidence. Along with skilled nursing care, short-term rehab facilities can address your unique needs with physical, speech, cognitive and occupational therapies.

As you search for short-term rehab for the elderly, it’s important to know what to look for and what questions to ask.

Therapist helping a senior man with rehabilitation exercises

Plan ahead.

If you or your loved one have an upcoming scheduled surgery, it’s best to be prepared and have a plan in place for where you’d like to stay for short-term rehab.

Your first consideration will likely be location, keeping in mind driving distance for your loved ones and potential visitors during your stay. You’ll also want to take a tour to see how comfortable the environment will be for your short-stay visit. Take note of the accommodations available. Are private rooms or suites available? Are there indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy? Where and when will meals be provided? And you certainly want to take note of the therapies offered, the team members who are on staff and where those services are delivered.

Something else that you might want to look for is a rehab center that’s a part of a senior living community. Many senior living communities provide onsite rehab and resources for non-residents, and often have a full continuum of care that’s available if your needs change while you’re in recovery. This is also referred to as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). That means the community has all levels of care: independent living, assisted living, skilling nursing and memory care. You’ll also find they offer additional amenities like fine dining, casual bistros, cultural programs and opportunities to connect and socialize — helping you grow in mind, body and spirit.

In the case of a sudden illness, injury or unexpected surgery, you and your loved one will need to partner with your physician and hospital discharge planner to coordinate where you’ll recover. It’s important to communicate your first choice to the hospital team, and make certain they work with your rehab center of choice to ensure a smooth transition.

Do your research.

You’ll also want to verify that the rehab center you choose is Medicare-certified, and take particular care to ask about their quality rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Ask for some facts and figures surrounding their patient to staff ratio and success outcomes. Not only is it important that team members are qualified and certified, but you’ll also want to be certain they have experienced, tenured team members dedicated to your daily needs.

Don’t be afraid to ask if they’ve had experience with recoveries like yours and what their readmission rate, back to hospital, is for your level of recovery. Quality rehab centers will be happy to provide you with the data you need to feel confident in trusting them with your care.

In addition to speaking with the potential provider, it’s a good idea to talk to current residents or past clients about their experience. Look for reviews, reach out to friends and professionals in your area to learn their thoughts and perceptions regarding the provider’s reputation.

Therapist helping a senior woman with balance and walking exercises and rehabilitation

Ask important questions.

While the suggestions provided above will give you a great starting place when looking for a quality rehabilitation center that you can trust, it’s important to ask questions regarding your specific, individual needs and desires. Ultimately, during this transitional period, what matters most is your or your loved one’s comfort.

The Buckingham is rated in the top 10% of communities in Texas to earn an overall 5-Star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and is proud to offer high-quality, compassionate care in our recently renovated rehabilitation center. We take pride in helping individuals regain their independence and provide care that helps prevent readmission. If you’d like to explore your options or need additional information, we’re happy to help you make the right decision with you or your loved one.