September is National Rehab Month

Inpatient Rehabilitation Care for Older Adults

A short-term stay in a rehabilitation center after an injury or illness has become a favorable situation for older adults. This residential setting can be more convenient and less cumbersome than traveling to and from a rehabilitation center for appointments – especially if the injury is orthopedic in nature and traveling to appointments risks re-injury. Many hospitals, nursing homes, and senior living residences offer inpatient facilities. You might think that being away from home in an unfamiliar environment might be more stressful; however, that is not always the case. In fact, studies have shown that a more successful recovery is achieved when there is 24 hour supervision and treatment since you or your loved one can rest assured knowing someone is there to help at any point in time.

A doctor may recommend inpatient over outpatient rehabilitation for older adults. You may be wondering what types of injuries can be treated in an inpatient rehabilitation center. The majority of injuries needing rehabilitation are orthopedic, neurological, and/or cardiac.

Inpatient rehabilitation treatments might include treatment for the following list of conditions:

  • Facture or broken bone
  • Joint replacement
  • Amputation
  • Arthritis
  • Brain injury
  • Aneurysms
  • Neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Bell’s Palsy, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Nerve impingement
  • Wound care
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Pneumonia
  • COPD

Though this is only a partial list, it demonstrates that a large number of treatments involve recovering lost mobility, rebuilding muscle function, developing needed strength for utilizing walkers and wheelchairs, improving communication skills, and providing the emotional support needed to cope with the trauma and resume daily activities.

The length of the stay can vary based on progress – it all depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s participation in the process. Most centers have a staff that consists of a variety of therapists (physical, occupational, speech, respiratory, etc.) and health care workers to create a plan based on each person’s needs and condition. The goal of any inpatient rehabilitation facility is to get the patient comfortably functioning so they can get on with the business of living their life.

Discussing inpatient and outpatient options with you or your loved one’s doctor is a good place to start if you have injuries that have been diminishing your quality of life.  Additionally, the hospital Social Worker or Case Manager can help you find a rehab facility that is right for you.  Remember, you have a choice of where to go for rehab. It is always a good idea to research and visit facilities before a need arises.  You will then be able to make pre-arrangements for rehab after a planned procedure, or in the case of an accident or sudden illness, you would be able to tell the hospital where you would like to go upon discharge.


For information on the rehabilitation programs at Sarah Reed Senior Living

call 814-878-2600 or visit