Nursing homes are often thought of as permanent residences. However, about one out of every three nursing home tenants in any given year is there for short-term rehabilitation and goes home when they are finished. If you ever need skilled nursing services or daily therapy after a heart attack, accident, stroke, surgery, or illness, you or your family member might be among the short-term nursing home residents. Here is what to look for in a facility, info about Medicare coverage rules, and what to expect when your doctor prescribes rehab.
Commonly called transitional rehab, post-acute rehab, or short-term rehab, rehabilitation services all share one goal: to get your or your loved one well enough to return home. This begins with an assessment of your needs and condition. Your rehab team will use this information to create a daily care plan.
Care plans are specifically tailored to your needs. For instance, hip and knee replacement patients will focus on balance, range of motion, post-operative pain management, and strength. Stroke survivors will need cognitive therapy and treatments for impaired muscle control or balance along with speech language therapy to recover speaking skills. Based on when therapists are available, rehab patients get services five to seven times per week.
Rehab care is provided by many assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Knoxville. For example, three of the highest rated Knoxville senior communities on SeniorAdvisor.com provide rehab:
Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center is located at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and is a recognized leader in rehabilitating spinal cord, brain injury, and stroke patients.
Shannondale of Knoxville offers general rehabilitation care and has a full-time staff of licensed therapists that specialize in speech, occupational, and physical therapy.
NHC Healthcare, Farragut provides rehabilitation with a focus on individualized programs to assist patients in recovering their speech skills, ability to perform daily tasks, and physical strength.
Your geriatrician, hospital social workers, or doctor may have recommendations for rehabilitation placement. You can also check out online reviews left by family members and patients or talk to your neighbors or friends who have already been through the same experience.
As with any senior living community, the perfect rehab center has a well-kept and clean setting, a friendly environment, a good track record when it comes to state inspections, and a great reputation among family members, staffers, and patients. You should also find out if the center is Medicaid or Medicare certified.
If you meet all of the following conditions, Medicare will cover short-term rehabilitation and other skilled nursing care:
Need rehab services at least five days a week that can only be provided in an inpatient facility.
Were admitted to a hospital for three or more consecutive days on an inpatient basis and were treated for the condition that requires rehabilitation.
Select a Medicare-certified rehab center.
Have a doctor’s orders for necessary and reasonable skilled rehab services.
Have days left in your Medicare Part A coverage benefit period.
You may be able to use Medicaid benefits or long-term care insurance to pay for rehab when you do not qualify for Medicare coverage.
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