Short-term rehabilitation facilities are places that people, usually seniors, go to recover after a surgery, illness or other hospital stay. The goal of these facilities is to help the patient reach a state of independence so that they can go home and return to their normal life. A stay can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. While they are there, the patient receives any physical or occupational therapy services they need to become independent again.
If you have a loved one that is making the transition from a hospital to a short-term care facility, you may be nervous about what to expect. How can you assist in making your loved one's stay a positive experience?
Visit them. Don't stop visiting your loved one just because they are out of the hospital. A short-term rehab facility can be just as scary, lonely and even boring for them. They will appreciate visitors. Just stopping by to chat can raise their spirits.
Bring treats. Your loved one will appreciate getting some outside food. Although they are likely fed delicious and nutritious meals, they will appreciate getting a taste of homemade food or a meal from their favorite restaurant. Bringing flowers will brighten their room and their spirits, and homemade cards or gifts from younger family members will put a smile on their face. Anything that can help them pass the time, like books or games, will also be appreciated.
Bring the children. The young ones may not have gotten to visit their loved one in the hospital, but most short-term care facilities allow children. It can be stressful to wrangle young children in an environment with sick and injured people, but it will be worth it for both the children and your loved one in the facility.
See if you can bring a furry friend. You may be able to bring your loved one's pet in for a short visit, depending on the facility's policy. Animals are often used as a therapy tool and can raise spirits. Talk to a professional short-term rehabilitation center, like Valley View Retirement Community, for more information on their animal policies.
Get your loved one moving. Take your loved one to a common area in the building or outdoors. They may be stuck in their bed for a good portion of the day and will getting some fresh air, can be very therapeutic for them.
Talk about their rehab. Ask questions and allow them to talk about what they are doing with their therapists. You may even consider visiting during a time when they are working with their therapist so you can experience and see what they are doing.