Rehab Services Prevent Hospital Readmittance

Hospital. The mere mention of the word conjures up many images – most not so positive. 

Unless it’s for the birth of a child, a visit to the hospital is normally associated with some type of sickness or injury. Either you’re the one who is sick or you’re visiting someone who is sick.

And even though almost everyone will experience a hospital stay at some point in life, it’s never easy for the patient or the caregiver. Even more so if the hospital patient is a senior citizen.

Based upon data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 15% to 20% of traditional Medicare recipients age 65 and over end up back in the hospital within 30 days of discharge.

If a patient is sent home without the right set of tools to rehabilitate himself, he’s going to end up right where he started. This presents a problem for seniors, their families and even hospital administrators.

Hospital administrators focus on reducing length of stay and they have specific programs to do so. This can also improve outcomes for the patient by minimizing risk of infections and other conditions associated with lengthy stays.

For the benefit of all involved, how can a person stay out of the hospital and journey down the road to full or at least vastly improved recovery? The answer lies in the rehabilitation services offered. If you want your loved one to stay out of the hospital, then proper rehabilitation is the answer.

What are Rehabilitation Services?

Rehabilitation services help an individual get back, perhaps even improve, the skills for daily living that may have been lost or impaired because of a sickness, surgery or injury.

To that end, picking the right rehab services helps the patient step down and limits the potential for readmission.

Rehabilitation services include physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and psychiatric rehabilitation services in a variety of inpatient and/or outpatient settings.

They play a crucial role in eventually returning patients to their normal living environment as soon and as safely as possible.

What Rehab Services Are Available?

Occupational Therapy helps a patient with the basic daily activities of living. OT includes self-care areas like personal grooming and hygiene. It helps to develop or return fine motor skills – things like buttoning a shirt or picking up a toothbrush. 

In many cases, occupational therapy helps the individual adjust to a new method of living, especially compensating for loss of sensation and/or vision.

Common exercises or therapy include holding a pencil and writing notes. OT also involves catching and throwing a ball to improve balance and coordination. The goal is to eliminate slips and falls, which are a common cause of hospital readmittance.

Physical Therapy includes the treatment or management of a physical disability, malfunction or pain. 

PT is conducted through exercise routines, massage and even things such as hydrotherapy.

The goal is to strengthen the patient without solely relying on medicine to improve one’s physical condition.

The purpose of physical therapy is to improve range of motion, strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and endurance.

Speech Therapy is also a common rehabilitation service, especially in treatment of stroke victims. Speech therapists help an individual communicate with family, loved ones and caregivers. 

The goal is to give a sense of dignity and limit the frustration if the patient can’t fully communicate. Speech therapy includes working on basic language communications. It can also involve tips and practice on memory.

The best rehab service considers the continuum of care for the senior or patient. It’s managed through restorative nursing.

These are programs developed to deliver interventions that promote a resident’s ability to function at his/her highest level. The goal is to get them living as independently as possible.

Windsor House Inc. is a family owned and operated health-care provider that has been serving residents of the Mahoning Valley for 60 years. 

The company owns and operates 12 nursing homes and five assisted living communities in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.