When looking for a rehab center what are some good questions to ask the facility? - AgingCare.com

When looking for a rehab center what are some good questions to ask the facility?

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The big mistake we made picking a rehab center was aligning recommendations from friends with mom's needs. In retrospect, the people who told us one particular center was great were young (er) folks who'd had knee or hip replacements. Mom had a stroke, and unbeknownst to us at the time, had developed vascular dementia. I would talk to the discharge folks at the hospital about what your LO needs and listen carefully. After mom broke her hip, my brother and I threw out the ratings and listened to the discharge nurse who said, but you haven't looked at this place, have you? A little down at the heels, yes. But great, dedicated staff, good pastoral program.
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I would not ask the rehab center, they will tell you how great they are. I would ask the MD's, RN's, PT's and SW's which ones they think are the best. Then I would see which ones are covered by my insurance.
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I'm thinking you're talking about a nursing home with rehab. If that's what you mean, then you can get a Medicare opinion on the nursing home stafffing, cleanliness and overall performance here: http://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html

I'd want to make a visit and make sure I liked the looks of the facility; because mom is a fall risk, I would insist on the dining room being a common room with a large-screen TV opened all day. (This because she could be pushed up to the large dining table, and her wheelchair locked in place to keep her safe.) If your loved one needs a special diet, will they accommodate? If your loved one will be a fall risk (forgets, and tries to get up by him/herself), then there's a litany of other questions you'd like to know; most importantly, do you have bed alarms, door alarms, seat alarms? What specifically do you do to ensure my LOs safety? Etc.

I've learned that older facilities have generally been ineffectively retrofitted. Like old schools or government buildings remodeled for nursing home use. I doubt I'd put mom in one like that.

How many times a week do you do rehab? Which ones? I think the usual are physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Can I join my loved one to watch? Do you work toward specific family goals? Will the occupational therapist do a home visit on discharge to recommend safety issues that need to be addressed immediately?

Does my LO's own doctor practice out of your facility? Do you have whatever specialist your LO may need on staff? (For instance, if your LO had congestive heart failure, it would be nice to know they had a cardiologist making rounds once a week...and on immediate call. What hospital does your nursing home transport to? (All of mom's records are on computer at one local hospital. That was important to me.)

I'm sure there are tons more; start a sheet of paper with all of the questions you can think of for each nursing home you talk to. If you keep the answers on little scrappies, you'll go nutz. ;)
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