After an injury, short-term physical rehab helps you regain most – if not all – your pre-injury abilities. However, some patients reach a plateau or experience a decline. At this stage, long-term care may be recommended.
For individuals living with a chronic illness, cognitive deterioration due to a form of dementia or physical disability, long-term care services provide round-the-clock attention at a high-quality facility.
What Is Long-Term Care?
You can trust the skilled nursing and ancillary staff at West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center to provide medical care and assistance with “Activities of Daily Living,” such as dressing, bathing, toilet use, incontinence, eating and transfers from bed.
These services, also including physical, occupational and speech therapies, help patients work toward some degree of independence.
When Is Long-Term Care Necessary?
In general, long-term care is needed when a patient cannot return home due to physical or cognitive decline, or if the home does not provide a safe environment to continue rehab.
Roughly 70 percent of adults 65 and older will require long-term care at some point in their lives. A few conditions and scenarios require it, including:
- Chronic Illness or Disability, requiring some assistance with day-to-day tasks. Conditions may be strictly physical or include cognitive impairment like memory loss.
- Sudden Illness or Injury, requiring some care before returning home. This is often the case if a patient has a long recovery ahead, such as following a stroke or fall.
How do you know when your loved one needs long-term care? At the hospital or short-term rehab facility, a discharge planner determines what type of care is needed and which facility will be the best choice for their medical condition.
A patient may be steered toward long-term care if:
- Progress is slower than predicted, due to a preexisting condition or other factors.
- The patient is unable to perform the recommended exercises and therapies.
- The patient’s condition does not respond to treatment.
- Staff notices a cognitive decline during therapy – for instance, signs of dementia.
- Their home environment won’t aid in recovery – for instance, no wheelchair ramp.
- The patient has spoken of depression, isolation or having no source of help.
- Family members or home caregivers are not in the position to assume a full-time role.
Transitioning to Long-Term Care
The facility will communicate with the family about your loved one’s progress, including the expected recovery time, response to treatments and any signs of cognitive decline.
Beyond these updates, patients will have a care plan covering their condition, treatments, diet and activities. During sessions, you may be asked about the safety of the patient’s home and to report any adjustments in accordance with your loved one’s functional abilities.
If your loved one needs more than short-term rehab, turn to West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center for long-term care. To learn more, give us a call today.
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