Rehabilitation Centers


After a loved one undergoes surgery, falls, becomes ill, suffers a stroke, or experiences some other kind of serious accident or injury, inpatient rehabilitation services are typically prescribed by their doctor. Professional rehabilitative services are intended to help patients regain their strength, mobility, communication skills and coordination so they can resume living as independently as possible.

Once a person is ready to be discharged from the hospital, they will work with a social worker and their family members to determine the best setting for them to recuperate. Rather than engaging in outpatient rehab or a home-based program, a subacute care facility provides intensive rehabilitative services and access to specialized equipment. These services can be provided in certain areas of acute care hospitals and senior housing settings like assisted living facilities and nursing homes, or in stand-alone skilled nursing facilities or convalescent homes.

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Rehabilitation Services

These facilities provide a safe environment for patients to focus solely on regaining skills and abilities with the ultimate goal of returning to their homes or previous care facilities. A needs assessment is conducted for each patient upon admission and this is used to create a personalized care plan that will guide their recovery efforts.

For the most part these services are offered, but can vary from community to community. Be sure to ask when touring.

Rehabilitation Center Services and Amenities Reference Guide

Private or semi-private rooms are available.

All meals are provided and restricted or special diets can usually be accommodated (extra fees may apply, though). Some facilities may have a dietician or nutrition professional on staff to assist with dietary counseling.

These centers provide 24-hour skilled nursing care. Patients also have access to a licensed physician for care plan management, a social worker, and onsite occupational, physical, and speech therapists. An enrichment director may also be on staff to plan events and activities for patients.

In addition to assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), trained medical professionals are able to provide medical monitoring, IV therapy, wound care, and administer medications.

Physiotherapy is an important part of recovery for many different health problems. Targeted exercises and techniques can help patients reduce pain, improve strength and balance to prevent falls, regain mobility after joint replacement or other surgeries, and improve gait and balance in stroke survivors. A trained physical therapist can also prescribe appropriate mobility aids and orthotic devices, if necessary.

Occupational therapists assist patients in learning how to safely and effectively carry out ADLs and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) and meet personal goals for regaining functional abilities. This process involves relearning ways of doing “common” activities (with or without assistive devices) and how to alter living environments to be conducive to a patient’s temporary or permanent functional limitations.

Patients who are in rehab for things like stroke recovery, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or progressive neurological diseases can suffer from problems like aphasia, dysphagia, dysarthria and apraxia, which affect the ability to comprehend and produce speech. Working with a trained Speech-Language Pathologist can help these patients to regain and improve their communication skills and ability to safely eat and drink.

How to Pay for Rehabilitation

Depending on a patient’s individual situation, rehab services may only be needed for a few days or they might be necessary for a few months. Determining a patient’s coverage for inpatient rehab can be very complicated. Aside from straightforward private pay methods, Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration each have their own methods for determining eligibility for coverage of a rehab stay.

The list below contains sources of funds or benefits that may cover some or all costs incurred in a senior rehabilitation center.

  • Long-term Care Insurance

  • Medicare (Medicare Part A only pays for medically necessary skilled care following a patient’s qualifying hospital stay.)

  • VA Benefits (Eligible veterans can use the Aid & Attendance benefit to pay for skilled nursing care. Another option is available for veterans who meet eligibility criteria regarding their service connected status, level of disability and income in order to receive coverage for a short-term stay in a community living center or community nursing home.)

  • Medicaid (This program will cover these services as long as the patient meets eligibility criteria and selects care in a facility approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.)

  • Annuities

  • Life Settlements or Converted Life Insurance Policies

  • Reverse Mortgages

  • Bridge Loans

  • Private Health Insurance

Rehabilitation Daily Costs

Since the length of patients’ stays in subacute care facilities varies so widely, fees are typically assessed on a daily basis. Costs will also differ depending on the level of care a patient needs, whether they elect to stay in a private room, and if they want access to extra amenities such as a telephone, internet access, or a television. The type and amount of coverage a patient receives for a stay in senior rehab also influences what portion of the cost (if any) the patient will need to pay privately.