Originally published 11/4/16; updated 07/12/19.
There are often fears connected with moving from a hospital to a skilled rehab center, but many are grounded in myth. Here are four of the most common myths.
4 Common Myths About Rehabilitation After Surgery
1) No pain, no gain
That sounds like something a drill instructor would preach, but it isn’t necessarily true. Rehabilitation after a hospital stay should not be painful.
One thing to remember is there's a difference between pain and discomfort. Pain can be a sign of doing too much too soon or another problem. Discomfort is just a byproduct of asking muscles and nerves to get back on track. A professional therapist can actually make the process fun by working in partnership with you as a coach.
2) I can do it myself
Therapy is an important phase in the healing process and working with specially-trained professionals helps to focus energy and speeds recovery. The extent of the need depends upon the reason for the rehab in the first place.
Some things can be accomplished at home or in an outpatient environment. With a more complex situation, therapy is best completed in a setting where professionals are available for extended periods – perhaps a session two or three times a day – and the necessary resources are in place. A skilled nursing center or skilled rehab center has trained staff who are focused on your recovery, comfort and progress.
Scheduled therapy with a professional guiding the repeated work typically provides more incentive and progress than even the most motivated person can muster on their own.
3) A skilled nursing care or rehab center is too expensive
When you evaluate the alternatives, take into consideration the costs of all variables from length of recovery to equipment to transportation.
- Would recovery at home take longer, and what costs does that incur?
- Do you have access to the kind of equipment needed to complete a detailed rehab program at home? Even renting a machine or two can be costly.
- What is the cost of commuting to and from a rehab center if you attempt the task on an outpatient basis?
- Will outside caregivers need to come into the home?
- Will family members need to take time off work?
With all the time commitments and related elements, you are likely to save money working with a skilled nursing home. Because most insurance covers at least some of the cost of therapy for veterans, there are additional avenues to explore to help pay for the stay.
4) If I go to a nursing home, I’ll never go home
After a stay in the hospital, all anyone wants to do is go home where they feel comfortable and safe. The idea of going to a nursing home and never leaving is frightening. But even more frightening should be the thought of a poor recovery that leads to additional complications.
Having state-of-the-art equipment and therapy with professionals versed in the latest techniques is likely the fastest track to a speedy recovery and trip home. In fact, a post-acute stay in a nursing home can range from just seven days for a knee or hip replacement to 3-4 weeks for a more serious medical condition.
Rehabilitation and Therapy at Maine Veterans' Homes
Maine Veterans’ Homes has six locations throughout Maine, each welcoming our honored veterans. You can pre-book a rehabilitation stay to help ensure a smooth and immediate transition from surgery to post-acute recovery.
Learn more about getting your eligibility and benefits in place in our free guide.