Preparing for surgery, or discharge from the hospital after an illness or injury, involves the decision about your recovery.
The two most popular options for recovery are home health care and short-stay rehabilitation. Both options offer many benefits. However, one may be a better choice for you than the other.
It is always helpful to seek the advice of your physician or surgeon on which option is a better fit for your needs. If your recovery is expected to be easy and little assistance is needed, home health care is likely more suitable.
However, recovering from a surgery such as a hip or a knee replacement or something that will call for closer monitoring and care, your doctor may likely suggest taking advantage of the services provided by a short-stay rehabilitation facility.
Location & Environment
Understandably, the wish to return home to recover is preferred over being discharged to another facility.
Home is familiar and comfortable – certainly something anyone would want when you don’t feel 100 percent – unfortunately, many seniors require more attention and assistance than can be provided at home.
Facilities such as Bridge Care Suites strive to maintain a warm, welcoming, and healing atmosphere. Remaining connected to your social life and participating in activities while recovering is essential for support, mental health, and preventing loneliness. Recovery at home can create challenges around frequently socializing, especially if you depend on someone for transportation.
Your home is likely not designed around recovery needs, for example, wheelchair ramps, specialized showers or bathtubs, and handrails.
It is possible to modify your home, but the costs will be primarily out of pocket and can add up quickly. Not to mention, you will need to rent or purchase medical equipment, most of which you will not need after recovery.
Short-term rehabilitation facilities are designed with the highest levels of safety in mind, and all medical equipment is provided.
Another critical area of concern is sanitation, housekeeping, laundry, and meal needs. Sanitation in the home is dependent on you or your caregiver; meanwhile, at a rehabilitation facility, sanitation follows a strict protocol and must meet the standards of both the facility and state.
A clean space is critical for preventing infection in the surgical site and the need for general health and hygiene. Housekeeping, laundry, and meals add to the responsibility of caregivers. While it is possible to hire help in these areas and utilize meal-delivery services, these are not covered by medicare and will be additional out-of-pocket costs.
Access To Care
Access to care is one of the most critical factors during recovery and the most significant difference between home health care and short-stay rehabilitation facilities.
If your recovery does not include therapy or necessitate 24-hour care, returning home is likely the better option. You should always consult with your physician or surgeon on whether or not they have a preference for you.
Some hospitals’ policies require patients to be discharged to a short-stay rehab facility. Opting for a rehabilitation facility eliminates the stress of hiring, scheduling, and overseeing several medical professionals. A huge upside is all of your therapy programs and recovery team are located on-site and available round-the-clock.
Whether at home or a rehabilitation facility, treatment plans are personalized to each patient.
Our bodies need balance and consistency, particularly while healing. With a short-stay rehab facility, therapy is scheduled around the patient. Maintaining daily therapy and treatments is a priority, plus it can shorten your overall recovery time.
Recovering at home requires a lot of self-motivation and discipline to stick to therapy exercises when your therapist is not there. Unfortunately, things come up, and your therapist may have to cancel their appointment with you; often, a replacement is hard to find or is unaware of your medical needs.
Licensed medical professionals provide both home health care and short-stay rehabilitation. Treatment teams may consist of physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, licensed nurses, and more.
Opting for home health care provides an opportunity for your therapist to observe your home environment for any potential hazards – a loose rug, uneven flooring – that could cause injury or delay your recovery process.
Furthermore, communication between your recovery team and doctor can enhance your experience, and adjustments in treatment or medication can be made accordingly.
Cost and Insurance Coverage
If you are seeking out part-time or intermittent home health care, the financial impacts may not be as drastic and a more optimal choice. Keep in mind that additional services or home modifications you may need will increase expenses that Medicare does not cover. Even though short-stay rehabilitation services tend to be more expensive, the facilities are “all-inclusive”.
Medicare coverage for home health care is limited, and there are a number of eligibility requirements you must meet to qualify.
There’s a high chance you will require prescription medication after leaving the hospital or surgical center. If you transition directly home for care and recovery, medicare may not cover the medication you need. On the other hand, Medicare does cover prescription medicine for people who transition to a short-stay rehab.
When it comes to care and services, Medicare only covers part-time or intermittent home health care, but your first few weeks at a rehabilitation facility are entirely covered. On average, Medicare absorbs the cost for your first 20 days in short-stay rehabilitation. There may be variations in coverage options between each patient. It is always important to find out what your policy covers and requires when looking at your options.
Each guest is offered daily housekeeping for their suite, including laundry.
Three nutritional meals are prepared daily to provide your body with the sustenance it needs to continue healing. During your stay, you don’t have to miss out on community excitement or doing your favorite things like grooming at the salon and going to the movies. All of which are available on BCS’s campus.
Deciding On The Best Option For You
Recovery is no small matter, and your decision on where you choose to recover can have a significant impact on your ability to achieve maximum levels of functioning, mobility, and independence.
It’s never a bad idea – in fact, it is recommended – to take a tour of the facilities in your area to find the best fit. Write down a list of questions and concerns and discuss with your doctor and medical team at a short-stay rehabilitation facility or home health agency.