‘Pre-Hab’: How to Get The Most Out of Your Short-Term Rehab Stay

Margie Hennessy, Director of Admissions at Saunders House in Wynnewood, Pa, says, “Because of health insurance coverage issues and the high cost of hospital care today, patients are often discharged before they’re completely ready to go home. They frequently need additional recovery time and care to fully recuperate from their illness, accident or surgery in order to return home safely and confidently.

“Fortunately, short-term rehabilitation provides an ideal solution. Not surprisingly, this form of ‘bridge care’ has now become the preferred choice for easing the transition between hospital and home. Short-term rehabilitation centers offer a less expensive setting, as well as a more relaxed and comfortable recovery environment, highly personalized care, special amenities, and tasty, nutritious meals.

“Many post-hospital patients are now benefitting greatly from continuing their rehabilitation in leading short-term rehabilitation centers such as Saunders House. Here, we offer RenewAll Short-Term & Medically Complex Care, a program that has been developed specifically to support successful recoveries and enable safe returns to home.

“Our RenewAll program balances medical management and physical rehabilitation to treat a wide variety of conditions and needs, including, but not limited to joint replacement, cardiovascular disease, post-surgical recovery and general reconditioning.

Tips for Selecting a Short-Term Rehab Center That’s Best for You

If you expect that you’ll need additional recovery time and specialized care after your hospitalization, it is important to choose your rehab provider wisely. The fact is not all short-term rehab centers are created equal. Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to make sure the center you choose is best suited to your or your loved one’s individual needs and preferences. By doing so, you can help to assure that your rehabilitation experience will be both pleasant and productive.

Those sources most familiar with the range of short-term rehabilitation providers today (e.g. Medicare and the American Hospital Association) offer useful pointers to help you choose a center that best meets your unique circumstances and specifications. They suggest that you look for the following characteristics:

  • Certification by Medicare/Medicaid
  • High-quality patient recovery outcomes using national standards (e.g. Medicare quality ratings)
  • Rehab therapy services available 7 days per week
  • High satisfaction levels
  • Multiple full-time Registered Nurses (RN) in the center at all times
  • Multiple insurance plans are accepted
  • Personalized care plans for each individual
  • A clean and attractive environment
  • Social engagement activities
  • A choice of nutritious food items for each meal
  • A comfortable traveling distance for family members and friends
  • Family-friendly visiting hours
  • Outdoor areas for patient use when the weather is warm
  • Quiet areas where patients can visit with friends and family
  • Specialized services and expertise in the type of post-hospital care you require, cardiac rehab, stroke rehab and orthopedic care
  • A Medical Director specializing in geriatrics

Suggestions for Making the Most of Your Recovery Experience

Adds Margie, “In addition to selecting a short-term rehab center that’s best for you, it is also important for you to take some personal steps to ensure that you receive the maximum benefit from your care.” For example:

  • Actively participate with your care team in discussing and setting your rehab and recovery goals.
  • Be your own best advocate – If you have questions or do not understand something regarding your rehab plan, be sure to ask your care team about it. They will be happy to help.
  • Let your care team know if you are experiencing pain. Some discomfort is normal when you are rehabbing after a surgery or injury and using muscles that you haven’t used in a while.
  • Take advantage of the highly nutritious meals you are served. Good nutrition is also very important to your recovery – and something you should continue to pay attention to when you return home.
  • Invite your family to visit you often for support and encouragement, as well as to receive updates from your care team. Leading post-hospital rehabilitation centers have family-friendly visiting policies.
  • Think Positive! Enjoy your time to relax and recover. Visualize yourself being fully recovered and back at home doing all the things you enjoy. Having a positive attitude about your rehabilitation is important.
  • Be sure you follow your care team’s instructions after you return home. Take note of what you should and should not do.

Following these helpful suggestions will help you to achieve the best results possible and the recovery you deserve!

Says Margie, “In addition to providing a variety of high-quality senior living services, Saunders House is also an excellent source of information for families. We invite you to view our monthly articles and tips on current topics for caregivers and their loved ones. We are always here to help.”

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

Discover Our Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

Located adjacent to Lankenau Medical Center, Saunders House – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has a celebrated tradition of providing exceptional care and services to seniors and their families. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Saunders House offers a range of services – including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing care, restorative carememory carerespite care and specialized care for individuals with visual impairments – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Saunders House, our Short-Term Rehabilitation program and other professional services, please call us today at (610) 658-5100 or contact us online. 

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Saunders House and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.


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