Short-term Rehab or Home Health Care: Which is the better option for you?

After surgery or an extended hospital stay, the thought of returning home on your own may be daunting. Will you be able to get around the house, bathe and dress yourself, take care of your meals? What about medication or physical therapy? Relying on family and friends to help can be a lot to ask, but it isn’t your only option.

Your doctor may recommend having someone care for you at your home or even recommend additional treatment at a short-term rehabilitation center. While home health care offers the attractive benefit of being in your own home as you recover, most post-operative care centers are part of skilled nursing facilities that offer physical, speech, and occupational therapy. They also frequently offer comprehensive accommodations, amenities and treatment plans to ensure you receive quality care and a simple-as-possible transition back to a home environment.

Choosing the right accommodations

If you opt for short-term rehab based on your own health situation and your physician’s recommendations, you’ll want to consider the quality, cost, and levels of care provided at several facilities before making a selection. Asking these questions can help you decide on the center best suited to meet your specific healthcare needs. You should also make it a priority to tour any facility before you move, if possible.

  • What is the cost and what is included during my stay?
  • Is my insurance accepted and what steps do I take to ensure my stay is covered?
  • Can the center accommodate my specific medical needs?
  • How often will I receive therapy?
  • What is the staff-to-patient ratio?
  • Is the facility rated by Medicare? If so, what is the current rating?
  • What amenities and services are available to me during my stay?

Ensuring Quality Care

Medicare rates skilled nursing facilities in four different areas: health inspections, safety, quality of resident care, and staffing. Check the ratings to determine which skilled nursing facilities provide the best overall quality of care, and keep in mind that ratings do change from time to time. Ensure that the environment is comfortable and welcoming and that the staff are attentive and make necessary patient accommodations.

Your stay at a short-term rehabilitation center should allow you or your senior loved one to focus on regaining wellness and mobility. Many skilled nursing facilities that have dedicated short-term rehabilitation centers offer a range of rehabilitative services, from occupational, speech, and physical therapy to nutritional and dietary assistance.

Planning Ahead

If your surgery is planned, be sure to discuss discharge arrangements with your providers in the weeks beforehand. If your stay in the hospital was not planned, you or your family should discuss discharge arrangements with your provider as soon as possible during your time in the hospital. Most hospitals have staff who coordinate discharge planning.

Planning helps ensure you can go to a place that provides high-quality care and is located where you would like it to be. Keep in mind:

  • Make sure the hospital staff knows about the places you have chosen.
  • Have someone check if your health insurance will cover your stay at the facility.
  • You should have more than one choice. If there is no bed available in the skilled facility that is your first choice, the hospital will need to transfer you to another qualified facility.

Because there can be so many factors that influence your choices for short-term rehab care, it’s important to work with a partner you know and trust, particularly one who understands the complexities of your situation. If you’re anticipating a planned surgery or temporary hospitalization, it’s time to evaluate and select a facility that can help. Facilities managed by

American Health Corporation offer the highest quality healthcare nearby.

For more information or to schedule a facility tour, contact one of our three locations in Alabama nearest you:

Oak Trace (Bessemer, AL) 205-428-9383

Colonial Haven (Greensboro, AL) 334-624-3054

Perry County Nursing Home (Marion, AL) 334-683-9696