This article was written be Ron Benner, BSN, MBHA, RN, LNHA, Vice President of Clinical Post-Acute Care at The Alden Network.
In the ever-changing health care industry, we have experienced a significant movement in how hospitals manage individuals with surgical and medical needs. We have seen the average patient length of stay decrease tremendously over the past 37 years. In 1980, an individual who suffered a heart attack would have an average hospital stay of 10 days, even without having surgery, and now the average stay for the same medical condition is about three days or sometimes even less if surgery is not needed.
This is where short-term rehabilitation facilities take up the slack. Choosing whether to go home from the hospital or to go to a short-term rehabilitation center may be difficult to make since the comfort of your home is appealing. However, you should ask yourself the following before making a decision:
Do I have someone at home to care for me?
Having a support system in place is essential for a full and speedy recovery. If you live alone, home may not be the best place to recuperate.
Do I need therapy a few days a week or almost daily to regain my strength?
If you need daily therapy, a short-term rehabilitation center is probably a better fit to get the care you need to fully recover.
Will I do exercises at home in between therapy visits or would I do better with a therapist keeping me accountable every day?
If you need a little motivation to stick to an exercise regimen, a rehab facility is a better choice to help ensure you stick to a prescribed routine.
What are my short-term and long-term recovery goals?
If your goal is to optimum functioning as quickly as possible, a rehab facility probably makes more sense, as they have the staff, resources and expertise available around the clock to help ensure you’re doing everything you can to get back to the life you love.
Do I suffer from multiple medical conditions and close monitoring and extra medical care would be helpful just in case?
Going to a short-term rehabilitation center after a hospital stay to receive therapy and care may improve the likelihood of catching new or recurring problems early and treating them in the facility versus having to return to the hospital.
Short-term rehabilitation centers can be an important part of the overall health care delivery system, providing individuals with the care and services they need to build up strength, functionality and independence before returning to home. There are many companies that now operate specialized facilities to meet the needs of these individuals. Alden’s short-term rehabilitation centers have been designed to reflect the amenities of a fine hotel, offering upscale interiors, luxurious accommodations and five-star amenities as well as hospital-level medical capabilities. The Alden Network has built and continues to build facilities to meet the discerning needs of short-term patients who require a few days of care and therapy before returning to home safely.