Whether your parent’s surgery date is scheduled or pending, one factor you don’t want to overlook is post-surgery rehabilitation and/or recovery care.
Choosing the right skilled nursing care or rehabilitation center for your parent can be the difference between a successful, speedy recovery or an unfortunate trip back to the hospital.
Be prepared before surgery by planning for your parent’s inpatient rehab, if possible.
Begin by creating a list of possible options. Search online for rehabilitation centers in your area. Ask your parent’s friends where they have gone or where they have heard positive reviews. Use these questions to help you narrow down the lists to find the rehabilitation facility that best meets your parent’s needs.
10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rehabilitation Center for After Your Parent’s Surgery
1. What rehabilitation therapy programs do you provide?
Check with your parent’s physician to determine what therapy will be prescribed after surgery. Ensure the therapy center can provide the needed therapy techniques and equipment along with developing a customized treatment plan based on how your parent recovers.
2. Is My Parent Eligible for Veteran’s Benefits?
As a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, your parent may be eligible for veteran’s health benefits that include surgery, therapy and other medical care needs. A center such as Maine Veterans’ Homes operates as an independent, non-profit organization separate from the VA. The staff are trained to care for and work as advocates for veterans whether that involves helping get his DD Form 214 and other benefits paperwork in line or understanding the specific support your parent may need as a veteran.
3. How many days a week do you provide therapy for rehabilitation?
While recommendations will vary for therapy, ensure your parent can get the doctor recommended amount to keep recovery on track. Look for a facility that offers at least six or seven days a week of physical, occupational and/or speech therapy.
4. When are admissions and discharges?
The more options you have for admission and discharge from rehabilitation, the smoother the transition will be for your parent. Look for a rehab center that has 24/7 admissions and discharges so you don’t have to worry about your parent “waiting” to begin recovery or go home.
5. What therapy equipment do you have?
Ensure the facility has state-of-the-art equipment that meets your parent’s needs. Visit the therapy room when you tour the center.
6. How have past inspections gone?
Research online for quality ratings, compliance and customer satisfaction scores for nursing homes and skilled care centers. Is the facility Medicare and Medicaid certified? Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare gives a 1-5 star rating for health inspections, staffing and quality measures, along with an overall rating.
Check online for customer reviews and look at company social media pages to get a feel for the organization, people and expertise.
7. Where will my parent sleep and what is the food like?
A good night’s sleep and good food are two essentials to a speedy recovery. The individual rooms, furniture and surroundings should feel inviting, cheerful and comforting. And of course, the food should be good and include a variety of meals. Have a meal at the facility when you tour, if possible.
8. How will you communicate and engage with my family?
The more you know and understand about your parent’s recovery, the less you will worry. Ask for examples on how they work and communicate with family members.
9. Can I pre-schedule my parent’s stay and pre-book his room for rehabilitation?
The sooner you can align rehabilitation and a recovery plan, the less you and your parent will worry. Your parent is likely already experiencing some anxiety about surgery. Have all of his post-acute care outlined for him prior to his hospital stay so he has one less thing to worry about. This will also help ensure a smooth transition from hospital to recovery care as you won’t be rushed into a decision.
10. What is the reputation of the rehab center?
Ask around. Ask your friends and ask your parent’s friends. Most will gladly share their experiences.
Pre-booking Rehab Care for My Parent
When you have your options narrowed down, schedule a tour and meet with a representative. He or she should be able to answer any additional questions, help you through the entire process and possibly even pre-book a specific room.
As you tour, notice the cleanliness, what residents are doing and how happy they seem and how the staff interacts with residents. Get a feel for the place and trust your instincts.
Most importantly, don’t wait to align your parent’s post-surgery recovery and rehabilitation. The sooner you have a recovery plan in place, the speedier — and easier — the transition will be from hospital to recovery to home.
At Maine Veterans Homes, our team of healthcare professionals work with your family to develop a customized treatment plan to help your parent recovery fully and regain independence. We also provide comprehensive discharge planning, which may include home assessments, equipment recommendation and family training and education.
Whether your loved one is in need of rehabilitative care, therapy services, long-term care or dementia care, we work with you to provide the exceptional care, compassion and support you are looking for.