Once you and your physician have determined that short-term rehab is a needed part of your recovery process, it is important to determine ways that you can get the most out of your short-term rehab stay. Since you may have just spent time in the hospital or may have come directly from your home to prevent a re-hospitalization, it is not unusual to feel lonely, homesick, or anxious. As part of getting the most out of short-term rehab, it is recommended that you bring items from your home, including family pictures, computers, iPads and/or Kindles, to make the stay easier and more enjoyable during free time. Also, bring phone numbers and addresses so that you can stay connected with those who lift your spirit. Try to spend time out of your room, socialize with other patients and staff, and attend recreational activities to help reduce depressed mood and anxiety.
It is important to commit to attending physical therapy and/or occupational therapy since a major goal is to gain strength and mobility during your stay. To get the most out of short-term rehab, it is essential to set realistic goals. Talk with your therapists so you understand what those goals should look like and to ensure that you are on the same page as your care team. Keeping a journal can help you monitor your progress. Many patients feel that they have not progressed and dismiss the feedback of the medical staff since they may compare themselves to other patients. If you record your progress from day one, you will be able to see in black and white how far you’ve come.
Gaining an understanding of your diagnosis and/or recent procedure and asking questions are helpful in ensuring a more comprehensive recovery. Make sure you understand what your medications are for and know when they need to be taken. If it is too much for you to keep track of ask for advice on medication management. Your nurses or social workers can suggest to you an easy to use pill box, or if you are technologically savvy, you may consider using a phone app that will alert you when it is time for your medicine. If you are managing a chronic illness, ask about what warning signs to look for that may indicate a flare up. The sooner you are able to get symptoms under control, the better for your overall health and well-being.
Before discharge, make sure that you understand what your needs and requirements will be at home. Many patients expect that they will leave short-term rehab fully recovered and not need to continue their physical and/or occupational therapy. In fact, you may need to continue your therapy at an outpatient facility. This is normal and will only enhance the progress you made during your short-term rehab stay. You may also need help at home from a home care aide, family member and/or friend. It may also be recommended to make modifications to your home to ensure safety and enhance your continued recovery.
The goal of short term rehabilitation is to get you back home healthy and safe. Following these simple guidelines will help ensure that you get the most out of your stay. For more information on short term rehabilitation, please call Abramson Care Advisors at 215-371-3400.