Finding the right environment for your rehabilitation after an injury or illness can make all the difference in your recovery. From the very beginning, you’ll discover that rehabilitation involves hard work, determination and a willingness to learn. You’ll be out of bed and involved in therapy most of the day. You’ll be tired at night. With the help of trained, experienced professionals, you’ll participate in treatment activities that are among the most advanced in the rehab field, using innovative methods and state-of-the-art equipment.
What to Look for in a Rehabilitation Center
Your journey back from a debilitating accident or injury won’t be pleasant or easy. A big part of your recovery depends on which facility you choose and what it offers. The following are some things to consider as you and your family look for the right place for your return to health:
- Fully licensed clinical team, including enthusiastic and experienced therapists, physicians and nursing staff
- Individually custom-designed rehab program
- Bright, clean and pleasant surroundings
- Early assessment of your medical and physical needs
- Regularly scheduled daily hours of therapy
- A combination of physical, occupational and speech therapy, if necessary
- Case management
- Educational activities
- Consistent reassessment of your needs to modify your course of care, treatment and education requirements
- High level of communication between your treatment team members, during your stay, at discharge and in followup
- Accessibility to Rehab Center Director and administration staff in case of further questions
What to Expect for Your First Steps Home
The first and most important step in your recovery is to do as much as you can for yourself. As you learn new skills or relearn old ones, you will become more independent and self-confident, more responsible for your own needs and increasingly able to participate in and enjoy activities. You and your family are key members of the treatment team. You will be expected to take responsibility for your progress and your future. Acceptance of your responsibility, as well as the support of your family and friends, provides the foundation for your success.
During your first 72 hours, you are assessed for your risk of falling. A plan is devised to give you the necessary assistance and strategies for fall reduction. A complete functional assessment will be conducted to identify your physical and medical needs. During your first few days, you will also meet the physicians and other members of the treatment team who will work with you throughout your stay.
It Takes a Village
Depending on your needs, your team may consist of physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, rehabilitation nurses, speech language pathologists, neuropsychologists, respiratory therapists, registered dietitians, case managers and countless other behind-the-scenes supporting members.
Your team will usually meet weekly to address your goals and assess your progress on all fronts in order to provide you with the best treatment plan and care to achieve a successful discharge.
Patient education matched to your levels of learning will be provided to you and your family. It will cover safety, effective use of medications and equipment, dietary and nutrition status, pain management and rehabilitation techniques that will help you maximize your independence.
Your treatment team expects you to ask questions. Don’t hesitate.
- Pay attention to your treatment and medications. Don’t assume anything.
- Educate yourself about your diagnosis, medical tests, therapies and treatment plans.
- If you are unable to ask questions yourself, designate a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
- Know what medications you are taking and why.
- Be sure the facility you choose has undergone rigorous on-site investigations by organizations such as the Department of Health.
How far you come back often depends on how hard you are willing to work at it, but the right facility can give you the edge you need for a maximum recovery.