My father is going to stay in a skilled nursing facility for rehab to regain strength in his leg. What are some things I should watch for while he is there?


Hello All,
My 82yo dad was hospitalized for a cellulitis on his leg. In the week he was in the hospital he's become unable to stand and do the few things he was still able to any longer. I am his 24/7 caregiver. His doctors agree that it would benefit him to stay in a skilled nursing facility for rehab to regain some strength. My family was opposed at first but we have since agreed it is necessary to make a safe return home. We looked at 4 places, found one we liked, but now what should I be aware of?
I plan on continuing taking care of him there, but ultimately I have to sleep at night. What should I watch for? What's a "red flag"? We could have opted for in home therapy but this is supposed to be better for him. Any comments?

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I would build a relationship with his roommate if he has one, so if you notice dad being down or upset you can ask the roommate, when dad isn't around, if anything happened last night. Dad may be embarrassed and not want to talk about it. I also requested female aids to assist my mom, knowing how private a person she is. You know your dad best and what his needs are, so just be tuned in to him when you visit. They do benefit greatly from the rehab. Best Wishes!
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I would have to say I agree with Lilliput... Give yourself a break and let him get some rehab... It will also help him to realize someone else can take care of him. He may appreciate you even more after this experience. I do understand you want to care for your Dad. I did the same thing, and would again if he needed me. He went to heaven in July.
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My Mom was in a rehab for 2 weeks last year and it was a great experience for her. I went through the same anxiety when her doctor suggested it. I asked him where he would send a family member and he sent Mom to a really nice facility. She really gained more mobility and they also worked on her shoulder.
Of course, it isn't like "home." So I made sure that I visited every other day at first. Then she got to know some of the other patients and really enjoyed interacting with them, so I visited less often. By the time I picked her up everybody knew her by first name! They even had great food and she loved choosing from the menu.
When she first arrived she did have a reaction to the pain meds she was given...she never takes that stuff...and it gave her hallucinations. Doctor pronounced it Alzheimers!! I told him to take her off the narc. meds and give her ES tylenol. Other than that, it was a good experience for her.
I think the more the staff at these facilities see visitors, the better care patients receive. However, this does not mean that you have to be there constantly. Let your Dad do the work he needs to do and give yourself a break.
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