After your senior loved one is discharged from the hospital, they may still need care from a short-term or long-term rehabilitation center but there may be complications during the admission process that cause them to be readmitted into the hospital. However, here are some steps to help identify high-risk admissions to rehab or home health services and tips to ensure that your loved ones have a safe transition. 
  1. Identify Family Support 
    Seniors being admitted to rehabilitation often can’t understand all of their care instructions from the hospital. It’s important to identify someone – family member, friend, partner, etc. who can act as support and be able to help by providing emotional, physical, and potentially financial support during the transition. 
  2. Safe Living Environment
    When a senior is discharged from the hospital it’s important to conduct a safety assessment to ensure that their home is safe. Seniors may participate in in-home rehabilitation or receive health services from their home, making it important for the home to be safe and secure. This step can be completed even before they leave the hospital. In fact, it’s recommended to get this done early to prepare for their hospital discharge.
  3. Consider a Psycho-Social Approach
    A psycho-social approach takes into consideration psychological factors like mental illness combined with the social aspects of a senior’s life. Many seniors may feel anxiety and depression, especially if they suffer from chronic conditions that negatively impact the quality of their lives. To help, it’s important to build a strong social network with other seniors in the same position or to identify hobbies and activities that help the senior feel engaged and positive.  This approach should also include connecting your loved one with social workers, behavioral health nurses, and other community services to create a support team.  
  4. Communication
    With an established community to support a senior, the final piece of a safe admission to rehabilitation is communication. Without it, the plan may fall through the cracks and fail. A senior may get discouraged and give up so it’s extremely important that all members of the family and support team stay are on the same page and communicating. 
    Don’t feel like you have to wait until they’re released from the hospital to get started. The process starts before your loved one is discharged. 

When you’ve handled these issues and are ready to consider a rehabilitation center, here are some questions to ask:
  1. Does the facility offer programs specific to your loved one’s needs?
  2. Is 24-hour care provided and is the staff qualified to provide this care?
  3. How does the facility develop their treatment plans?
  4. How often will therapy be provided?
  5. What extra services are offered?
  6. Do caregivers help with discharge and insurance questions?
  7. Is the family encouraged to participate?
  8. Are therapy and outpatient physician services offered?
  9. Are patient electronic medical records accessible?
  10. Do patients have access to other specialists onsite at the facility?