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Senior Rehabilitation Centers Checklist

Most inpatient rehabilitation stays are based on doctor referrals, and if you’re moving directly from the hospital to rehab, rehabilitation facilities located in the same building can be very convenient. That said, you can usually choose among the rehab options in your area. If time allows, it’s a good idea for you or a family member to visit each inpatient rehabilitation center you’re considering to see what the living quarters and rehab rooms are like, maybe try out a meal, and meet with the staff about the treatments you need. While you’re visiting, here are some questions to ask.

To download a printable version of this checklist, please click here.

Rehabilitation Facility Basics

  • Is the rehabilitation center Medicare certified?
  • Is it Medicaid certified?
  • Has the rehab facility’s state license ever been suspended or revoked?
  • Can you see a copy of the most recent state inspection report?
  • If deficiencies were listed in the report, have they been corrected?
  • Is there a room available for you?
  • Is the facility close enough to family and friends for convenient visits?

Staffing and Treatment Plans

  • Will the staff conduct an initial assessment and progress reports with me and my family?
  • How often will I see the doctor during my stay?
  • How much therapy will I get each day?
  • How much experience do the therapists have with the kind of rehab I need?
  • Can my family members or caregivers sit in on therapy sessions to learn how to help me at home?
  • What’s the staff-to-patient ratio?
  • Are there in-house physicians and registered nurses on site at all times?
  • Do the facility’s doctors specialize in rehabilitation medicine?
  • Are patients cared for by nurses with the Certified and Registered in Rehabilitation Nursing designation?
  • Does the facility provide other services I might need, such as x-rays or dialysis?

Patient Comfort and Safety

  • Does the facility conduct background checks on its employees?
  • Are there security measures to monitor entrances and exits?
  • Do all staff members wear clearly visible name tags?
  • Do the staffers you see treat patients with respect?
  • Do staffers respond to patients’ requests quickly?
  • Do you see safety musts such as clearly marked exits, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers?
  • Is there a posted evacuation procedure in case of emergencies?
  • Does the building have a backup power generator?
  • If the rehab center is not inside a hospital, is there a hospital nearby in case of medical emergency?
  • Do bathrooms and hallways have grab bars and hand rails?
  • Is the temperature comfortable?
  • Do patients have access to the outdoors during their stay?
  • Can the facility accommodate patients’ religious and dietary practices?

Meals, Hydration and Snacks

  • Are water pitchers and tumblers always available to patients?
  • Do patients have a choice of meals?
  • How is the quality of the food?
  • Is the dining hall clean and neat?
  • Are between-meal snacks available?
  • Is help with feeding available for patients who need it?

Patient Rooms and Privacy

  • Do staffers knock before they enter patients’ rooms?
  • Do patients in semi-private rooms have a secure place to store personal items?
  • Does each patient room have a window with a lock?
  • Do all patients have an in-room phone and TV?
  • How often are linens changed and patient rooms cleaned?