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Transitional Rehab: What to Expect

From Hospital Stay to Short Term In-Patient Rehabilitation: Preparing for the Transition
November 30, 2021

When a serious injury, illness, or accident occurs a hospital stay is likely required and often involves acute or intensive medical care. It is common that once a patient is released from the hospital that in-patient, short-term rehab is needed to help support recovery and healing, as well as to help the patient regain the strength and ability to return to as normal a life as possible.

The transition from a hospital stay to a rehabilitation facility can be overwhelming and difficult for patients, so it’s good to know exactly what transitional rehab is and what to expect.
The biggest difference between a hospital stay and time in rehabilitation is the amount of responsibility the patient has in their recovery.

While in the hospital doctors, nurses and other medical staff are primarily in charge of the patient’s medical care. The sole responsibility of the patient is to rest and recover.

Once the patient arrives at the short-term rehab facility, however, the focus on care becomes centered around getting the patient back to as normal a daily routine as possible. Medical care and supervision are also a big part of rehabilitation, but the recovery process now requires more participation from the patient. The main goal of rehab is to get the patient back in shape and in good health in order to return home and live the best life possible.

Below are tips to help you or your loved one prepare for short-term rehabilitation.

1. Never hesitate to ask questions or voice any concerns you may have. Some questions to ask are:
Can I tour the facility before my loved one is transferred there?
What options are available for rehabilitation?
What types of treatments can be expected?
About how much time will I (or my loved one) be required to stay in short-term rehab?
Is this stay covered by my insurance plan?

The more information you have beforehand, the less stressful the transition to rehab will be.

2. As the day approaches to make the transition to the rehab facility, it is also time to start establishing a discharge plan. Where will you or your loved one live when discharged from the facility, and what possible treatments and therapies may be required? Preparations should begin immediately to make their living space as safe and accessible as possible if the patient is to return to their home. If instead, the patient will move into an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, now is the time to begin making those arrangements. The hospital discharge planner or the social worker at the rehab facility can help you with the planning of the steps you need to take, as well as provide useful resources and information to help guide your decision.

3. You will be given a lot of information and there will be a lot of details to keep track of, so it’s very important to create and maintain a transition checklist. There are a vast amount of resources available online to help you establish a thorough checklist. The local library or online bookstores like Amazon are also great places to find information.

4. Bring a few comfort items from the home to the rehab facility. A favorite throw blanket or small family photos can ease the stress the patient may be feeling about being in the rehab facility.

When transferring to a short-term rehab facility, you should expect to collaborate with medical professionals like nursing staff, doctors, therapists and others to make the transition as smooth as possible. Your case manager is a vital resource for helping you or your loved one formulate a specific treatment plan based on your needs or the needs of your loved one.

At Prodigy Transitional Rehabilitation, we provide a comprehensive rehabilitation approach that focuses on short-stay recovery following an acute illness, injury, or surgical procedure like a hip replacement, knee replacement, or stroke. Our focus is on providing each patient with a positive rehab experience. Contact us today to learn more.