Rehab for Elderly Patients After Hospital Stay: What To Know
After a stay in the hospital, it’s understandable to have many questions about a parent’s prognosis. In many cases, the answer to those questions will depend on the kind of rehabilitation services involved with recovery. Since there are many kinds of elderly rehabilitation, navigating through the process can be confusing. But learning a few more things about rehab for seniors can help orient you in the process.
Reasons for Elderly Rehab After Hospital Stay
With old age, our immune system weakens, our bodies heal slower, and inactivity can become more dangerous. Accidents, injuries, and surgeries are generally more hazardous. And the prolonged recovery times associated with these kinds of medical events can also mean that seniors are at greater risk of losing some of their functionality during the recovery process.
That’s where elderly rehabilitation comes into play. Doctors might recommend elderly rehab after a hospital stay for an extensive range of health problems. That might include treatment for things like fractures, stroke, heart attack, joint injuries, cancer, pneumonia, osteoporosis, brain injuries, and so on. Offered as both inpatient and outpatient services, senior rehab programs are essentially designed to ensure a person can recover and retain as much of their functionality as possible.
Elderly Rehabilitation Care Options
Since every senior has a different range of rehabilitation needs, goals for treatment can vary just as widely. Rehab for seniors can also span many different timeframes depending on the issues at hand. For instance, a short-term rehab for the elderly program might emphasize learning to use mobility aids, while a long-term program might involve regaining lost functionality.
With that said, the form of treatment used in senior rehab programs is usually a combination of physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy. Between those three types of therapy, seniors can find assistance with communication issues, memory problems, fine motor skill enhancement, mobility assistance, pain management, and so on.
Rehab for Seniors – Inpatient vs Outpatient
Inpatient rehabilitation is common for seniors who are recovering from major surgery or a serious medical incident, and the environment tends to feel similar to living in a hospital. In addition to therapy programs, inpatient services might include meals designed by dietitians, counseling, fitness courses, and even managed social events.
Understandably, after already having spent time in a hospital environment, spending more time in a similar environment is not always a popular decision. Rehab for the elderly after a hospital stay in an in-home environment is also commonly done through outpatient services. Professionals can be used to help monitor health, care for wounds, provide physical therapy, or assist with a variety of other routine tasks.
Rehabilitation Services for the Elderly
Rehab for elderly folks can take many forms depending on the kinds of challenges that need to be overcome. Some kinds of senior rehab challenges are well suited for a home environment, while others may not be. As always, it’s best to consult with your physician to make these kinds of decisions. Though medical outcomes are hard to predict, arranging for the most appropriate elderly rehabilitation care is an excellent predictor for seniors retaining as much of their independence as possible.