What is a Rehab Center?

May 20, 2016

What is a Rehab Center?

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When you first hear the word “rehab,” it may be that your thoughts immediately jump to drug addiction and some facility for intervention. Although this is not untrue, senior rehabilitation is mostly centered on the building of skills through recovery therapies.

Many times, seniors receive rehabilitation after a surgery, physical injury, or after experiencing a health crisis like a heart attack or stroke. The goal is to work through any dysfunctions caused by a recent change to one’s wellness. Most people who enter rehabilitation centers are medically stable, so there is an emphasis on building independence rather than receiving intensive treatments.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab is offered to elders in a comfortable residential setting, providing constant supervision and comprehensive recovery services. These centers can usually be found in hospitals, or senior housing options like nursing homes and assisted living communities.

Outpatient rehab requires the patient to check in for scheduled appointments and is mainly found in freestanding clinics. After therapy or a treatment, people simply return home and carry on with their days. For people still fit to transport themselves safely, outpatient rehab is usually the preferred option.

Finding the Right Care

There are three different therapy options at senior rehabilitation centers. These include 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.

Most centers and facilities offer a wide range of treatments and specialized therapies for just about any condition. Whether it’s inpatient or outpatient, both forms of rehabilitation are designed to help seniors make progress within a reasonable time frame.

Depending on the severity of your ailment, inpatient rehabilitation may be a more appropriate choice. Chronic conditions and diseases requiring constant supervision are best suited for an inpatient setting, often providing better rates of success due to their comprehensive approach.

Ailments most suited for inpatient rehab include:

  • Fractures, or broken hips
  • Joint injury or replacement
  • Aneurysm
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Neurological Disease
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Brain Injury
  • Tumor/Cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Nerve Impingement
  • Amputation

Outpatient care can be a great option for people who need any combination of PT, OT, or SLP services, and who still have the ability to responsibly keep up with their rehabilitation schedule.

Planning and Paying for Your Rehabilitation

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.

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.

Veterans can receive coverage for their long-term care, including assisted living, home care, adult day services and even a nursing home. Rehabilitative care is likely to be found in these types of facilities, and may also cover a spouse’s care.

If you find that these programs aren’t available to you, it may be a good idea to contact a financial professional or an elder law attorney. There is always another option for finding the care you need and deserve! 

Is Rehab Right for You?

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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