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Planning for Short-Term Rehab? Ask These 9 Questions

a nurse helps a senior woman with rehabilitation

Whether you have a planned surgery or an unexpected health event, many seniors need a short-term rehab stay after leaving the hospital. Short-term rehab facilities provide skilled nursing care and therapy services to help you transition from the hospital to regular daily living. Most offer services such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

It’s likely your hospital team will provide a list of local short-term rehab locations. But it can be hard to know which facility to choose. You’ll want to ask several questions to make sure you pick the right one for yourself or your loved one’s needs.

Questions to Ask a Short-Term Rehab Facility

As you visit each facility, it can help to have a set list of questions. That way, you can compare services later. Use the following to help get you started.

  1. How will my plan of care be determined?
    Some facilities may take a few days to a week to get to know your baseline needs better. After that, make sure the facility has a discharge planner who can design a care plan specific to you and give you an estimated timeline of care. Also, you’ll want a facility that lets you and your family members be a part of your plan.
  2. Does your facility specialize in specific types of care?
    Each short-term rehab facility may have specific specialties. Ask if therapists have certifications or expertise in the types of treatments for your health condition. You want a community that will design a specific rehab program based on your needs.
  3. How often will I receive therapy?
    Make sure the community has the resources needed to provide you with consistent therapy services. Most facilities will provide therapy five days a week.
  4. Do you take my insurance?
    Finances are important. Before you pick a facility, get a clear picture of your insurance coverage and other costs. If you have Medicare, visit Medicare.gov to learn more about the specific rules for short-term rehab coverage. Look for a community that will help verify your benefits for you.
  5. What types of staff members will provide my care?
    You’ll want multiple areas of care available all in one location. Most facilities should provide staff members in areas such as nursing, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
  6. How many staff members are there at the facility?
    The facility should be able to provide you with a ratio of staff members to patients. Ask about how many registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants are available. These numbers may be different during the day versus at night.
  7. What do I need to bring to rehab?
    Short-term rehab often provides a more home-like environment than a hospital. You’ll want to bring your own clothes, sleepwear, and closed-toed shoes for therapy. Most locations also let you bring your own pillow or family pictures to make you feel at home. Your facility should provide linens and basic toiletry items.
  8. What should I expect when I move from the hospital to rehab?
    When it’s time to leave the hospital, make sure the facility has a process in place for a smooth transfer. Once there, ask how soon you’ll be evaluated by the therapy team. Usually, this should happen within 24 hours. Sometimes, it may even be the same day.
  9. What should I expect when I leave short-term rehab?
    When you’re ready to leave rehab, you’ll want support as well. Look for a facility that can help coordinate any services or medical equipment you need after discharge. This can make the transition easier for you.

Making a Smooth Transition to Short-Term Rehab

In addition to these nine questions, you may have other needs. So be sure to ask about those too. You want a facility that has all the resources you need so that you can focus on getting well. If you have time to tour each facility, also take note of your overall impression. A warm, welcoming environment can make a big difference in your healing.

At Autumn Leaves, our team of rehab professionals has a passion for helping seniors get back to daily life. With specialized therapy tools and programs, we’re ready to meet your needs so you can feel confident after you leave our care. Contact us today to learn more about our short-term rehab services in Dallas, TX.