Therapy Options at Senior Rehabilitation Centers

Jun 8, 2016

Therapy Options at Senior Rehabilitation Centers

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Growing older has its perks - specials discounts, grandchildren, and an earned sense of self that younger people only dream of. However, being envious of the more physical side of aging isn’t always common.

While your golden years may be a prize won over time, you may find yourself wondering how you can keep that shine. Medical conditions come and go, while others may hang around longer than you’d like.

Say your health is stable, yet there are things you may want to improve on. As harrowing as it sounds, finding a rehabilitation center is a great way to work through whatever your goals may be. Professionally identifying your needs can help plan your progress, making the most of your therapies.

What’s Involved With Senior Rehabilitation?

Senior rehabilitation is covered with three main types, physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech-language pathology (SLP). Depending on your medical conditions, it’s possible that you’ll be looking at several of these therapeutic fields to help on the road to recovery.

Before searching for a rehabilitation center, you’ll have to figure out how much time you plan to spend there. Minor ailments like routine surgeries may only require a short-term stay, while neurological or heart issues may take longer to build your strength to where it needs to be.

Rehabilitation centers will often be located in large hospital campuses, assisted living communities, or nursing homes. These facilities allow access to top senior care professionals and flexible living arrangements.

Some facilities will offer several treatment options and therapies, while others may specialize in a specific area. Your doctor or physician will be able to recommend the best approach to treatment, although it’s good to research what you can before jumping into a therapeutic regimen.

Physical Therapy

This type of therapy works to restore neuromuscular or skeletal functions, building strength and learning techniques to manage various physical conditions. Individual treatments may include:

  • Mobility training, posture or positioning techniques, or gait stability
  • Range-of-motion exercises focusing on joints and soft tissues
  • Wound care and pain management
  • Strength training for muscle function, endurance and general coordination

Occupational Therapy

For individuals who need help adapting to their social and physical settings, occupational therapy may be the best option. Functionality can be increased through:

  • Training in the activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, eating, and grooming.
  • Strength training and coordination exercise
  • Memory, cognitive, and general orientation activities
  • Education on techniques in how to overcome physical disabilities at home, the workplace, or in a community
  • Exercises to help joint movement and arthritis

Speech-Language Pathology

Professionals address a patient’s issues with general communication or swallowing dysfunction. Individualized treatments may include:

  • Recovery or strengthening of language and general memory skills
  • Non-verbal communication techniques for the hearing impaired
  • Oral muscular strength exercises for speaking and swallowing functions
  • Listening exercises and speech-impediment therapies

Once you’ve found a rehabilitation center providing the care you need, considering how to pay is the next step. Mostly, it depends on the length of your stay and what conditions are being treated. Medicare will cover up to 100 days of medically necessary care, although for longer stays you’ll want to check your Medicaid eligibility.

Rehabilitation can be a very serious experience, but many professional therapists have their ways of helping you enjoy building skills for a better life. As long as you remain open to progress, there’s always something more to achieve. Make the most of your rehabilitation and stay focused; show those young people you’re in for the long haul!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Skilled Nursing Facility?

A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is a clinical care provider that offers 24-hour licensed nursing care. An SNF primarily provides services for residents requiring medical and nursing care and/or therapy services for rehabilitation. A licensed physician supervises each patient’s care and a nurse or other medical professional is always on-site.

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Do rehabilitation centers accept Medicare?

In most cases, Medicare can be used to cover short-term rehabilitation services and temporary nursing home stays. Coverage lasts up to 20 days, after which a stay between 21-100 days will be partially covered and require a copayment. Anything beyond this limit will require individuals and/or their families to pay out of pocket or through other means. 

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