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A Team Approach to Sub-Acute Rehabilitation

Seniors entering a sub-acute rehabilitation facility typically have one goal in mind—getting better in order to get home quickly. While this is also a goal for their caregivers, ensuring patients return home well and safely is of primary concern as well.

Sub-acute rehabilitation helps patients recovering from illness, surgery or injury to regain strength and endurance, utilize adaptive equipment and devices as well as learn compensatory techniques.

“Anyone experiencing a decrease in function which is affecting his or her daily living activities will benefit from receiving care in a specialized short-term setting,” says Michelle Cross, Executive Director of Clinical Services at Botsford Commons Senior Community.”

When assessing a sub-acute rehabilitation facility, patients and their families should ask specific questions, such as:

“Treatment plans and goals should be set with a team approach, enlisting the opinions of nurses, physicians, social service experts, therapists, geriatric specialists and most importantly, the individuals and their families,” says Cross.
Individuals and their families should be heard and consulted throughout their stay.

“The importance of feeling comfortable and well cared for should not be underestimated,” says Cross. “An individual’s emotional needs are just as important to recovery and healing. ”

Working with Seniors May Require Extra Care

Entering a sub-acute rehabilitation facility may trigger a number of fears in many seniors. Is this it? Will I be able to go home? Am I now going to live in a nursing home?

For seniors returning home with a spouse or loved one, caregiver safety training can make daily activities easier. Before returning home, caregivers should understand the patient’s potential limitations and know how to properly use their assistance devices like a wheelchair or a walker.

“Sub-acute rehabilitation is designed to be a short-term stop on the road to recovery,” says Cross. “The focus is mainly on safely returning the patient to their previous residence whether it’s home, living with a loved one or to their assisted living setting.”


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Boomers Resource Guide is a special supplement to the Senior Citizen's Guide