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Outpatient and Inpatient Senior Rehabilitation: What’s the Difference?

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If you have an older loved one who is recovering from hospitalization due to a surgery, illness, or injury, their doctor may suggest they receive rehabilitation treatment before returning home. Generally, two types of rehabilitation are offered to seniors: outpatient rehabilitation and inpatient rehabilitation.

Many families don’t know the differences between these types of rehabilitation. Furthermore, some people may not realize they have the option to select the senior rehabilitation center of their choice. If you’re looking for the right care option for a loved one, consider these key differences between outpatient and inpatient physical rehab.

Outpatient Senior Rehabilitation

In an outpatient senior rehabilitation center, older adults receive treatment such as speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy from highly trained professionals. Patients must be transported to the senior rehabilitation center for treatment, and are allowed to return to their own homes after each session. While older adults may find comfort staying overnight in their own homes, this also means they are responsible for continuing exercises at home to maximize their progress. It can be difficult to find the motivation to complete therapy at home, especially for older adults who live alone. For this reason, outpatient therapy does not always produce the same quality results as inpatient rehabilitation.

Inpatient Senior Rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation is ideal for older adults recovering from a major illness, injury, or surgery who aren’t ready to return home. With inpatient senior rehabilitation, older adults stay within a rehabilitation center for a length of time to maximize their recovery. Inpatient senior rehab is often more focused and intensive, with therapy treatment offered daily. At an inpatient senior rehab center, you don’t need to worry about arranging transportation or assistance with daily activities. Inpatient rehabilitation centers located in retirement communities give older adults the opportunity to focus on recovering in a supportive environment, often leading to successful long-term recovery.

At-home Care

As an additional recovery option, at-home care exists to help seniors who need minor physical assistance or support but want to stay in the comfort of their own homes. These services range from assistance with daily activities like grooming or dressing to continued therapy and skilled nursing assistance with IV services and wound care. At-home care allows older adults to maintain their independence while still receiving the extra help necessary to manage their daily activities.

It’s important to remember that the hospital isn’t your only choice when it comes to short-term rehabilitation. A great way to find the best rehabilitation partner for your needs is by making an in-person visit to potential centers to meet their professional staff and ask questions.

Written by Bethany Lutheran Village

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