20 Tips To Consider When a Loved One is Sent To a Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center
Introduction – 20 Tips To Consider When a Loved One is Sent To a Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center
IRFs are rehabilitation units in free care hospitals and acute care hospitals. Patients admitted should be able to endure three hours of intensive rehabilitation services per day. Common diagnoses for patients who require intensive inhalable acute rehabilitation therapy include stroke, brain injury, spinal dysfunction, heart surgery, amputation, neuromuscular condition, arthritis condition, joint replacement, and Other conditions. Their primary focus is to provide rehabilitation services to help patients become as independent as possible in their activities of daily living so that they can return home and re-enter the community. Consider the twenty tips below as to when your parents / loved ones are sent for physical rehabilitation.
1. Provide a list of all current medications at the rehabilitation center so that no lapse occurs.
2. Do not bring or give any unauthorized medicines/supplements to the patient without the knowledge of the treatment team.
3. Inform the patient’s primary care physician (PCP) that the person has been admitted to the rehab center to coordinate care.
4. Provide contact information including name and phone number of current providers including PCP, cardiologist, podiatrist etc.
5. Be sure to designate a person as a point of contact for coordination of care and treatment planning.
6. Emergency contact list of at least two additional persons with both home/work and mobile telephone numbers.
7. Visit regularly and consider family members to prevent potential caregiver burnout.
8. Talk to the attending physician about the stated plan of care and do not hesitate to ask questions about the course of care.
9. Bring a copy of any prepared advanced instructions for placement in the patient’s medical chart. If an advance directive was not completed, consider completing one at the rehab center.
10. Discuss any physical, mental, or emotional changes that you immediately notice with the medical staff.
11. Meet with a dietitian to discuss and review any dietary restrictions or preferences.
12. Leave valuables at home. Consider wearing only a wedding band and a cheap watch for the patient.
13. Be sure to list dentures and hearing aids. Keep a copy of the requested and complete and signed inventory sheet.
14. Label all personal clothes and blankets with a label or permanent marker.
15. Decide whether clothes will be washed at home or at a facility. If clothes will be washed at home, bring a barrier bag for storage.
16. Purchase bright plastic holders/containers for dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc.
17. To reduce the risks of possible deterioration for patients with physical mobility limitations, consider a longer-lasting sleeping gown.
18. Avoid flip flops or slippers as they may increase the risk of falls due to any unstable gait or muscle weakness.
19. Provide the patient with Velcro straps with sneakers that allow for an adjustable fit while minimizing the risks of tripping due to untouched shoals.
20. Bring the patient’s clothes to the button without zipping. This will help reduce frustrations arising due to mobility/dexterity limitations.