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Long-Term Rehabs for Seniors: Everything You Need to Know

long term rehabs

If you’re caring for an elderly loved one, you might start seeing changes that have you wondering if long-term rehab or skilled nursing facilities are best for your aging senior. You’re probably already familiar with short-term rehabs designed to help people recover from injuries or illnesses, but might not know how long-term rehabs can help. 

Long-term rehabs are similar to short-term ones in that they focus on physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other types of treatment. However, these programs also offer a variety of different services aimed at helping older adults regain some of their independence. 

When recovering from a surgery or injury, a physician may recommend that seniors undergo long-term rehab to regain and relearn essential functions to keep and maintain their independence.

While something with the word “long-term” attached can sound cumbersome, you and your loved ones have nothing to fear. Today, we will go over everything you need to know about long-term rehabs for seniors to help you know what to expect!

Types of Long-Term Rehab Services

There are many different types of long-term rehab services available for seniors. The kind of care you choose for yourself or a loved one will depend on their condition and needs. 

Long-term rehab services can include:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps improve mobility and function to patients who have experienced conditions such as strokes, spinal cord injuries and amputations. Physical therapists often work with patients to improve range of motion, reduce pain, and prevent disability through various techniques, including exercises, stretching, massage, and electrical stimulation or assistive devices such as canes or walkers.

Occupational Therapy 

Occupational therapy helps patients learn how to bathe, dress, and eat meals with little assistance from others. Occupational therapists work with patients to help them regain strength, coordination, and stamina. They treat people diagnosed with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, or spinal cord injuries. They also work with people recovering from surgery, accidents, or other traumatic events that have left them unable to perform daily activities independently. 

Speech Therapy 

Speech therapy is one of the most common treatments in long-term care centers. Speech therapists work with patients who have lost their ability to speak due to stroke or other conditions that impact the brain and nervous system.  They also help patients unable to communicate effectively because of poor hearing or physical limitations such as paralysis or limb weakness. 

Another helpful use for speech therapy is that it can help those who have difficulty swallowing food or liquids. This can prevent choking and give seniors more control over their eating habits.

Respiratory Therapy 

Respiratory therapists work with patients who have problems breathing or other difficulties related to their respiratory systems. They specialize in helping patients who have developed asthma or lung cancer. These therapists may teach patients how to use equipment that allows them to breathe more easily and avoid situations that could trigger an asthma attack or cause difficulty breathing. 

When is Long-Term Rehab Most Commonly Factored Into Treatment?

Following a Medical Episode that Causes a Dysfunction

Following a medical episode that causes a dysfunction (such as a stroke or fall), patients may need to be admitted into a long-term rehab facility where they will receive treatment and monitoring until they are stabilized enough to be discharged home. 

After Surgery 

After surgery, patients’ muscles can weaken from spending long periods immobile. In these cases, physical therapy is essential to help the patient regain strength and mobility. Long-term rehabilitation can also be beneficial after an accident or injury. If your loved one has suffered a severe injury that left you unable to walk or perform everyday tasks, physical therapy could help them regain strength and mobility to return to your daily life.

After Long-Term Hospitalization 

After long-term hospitalization, many patients are discharged and sent home with instructions to follow up with their primary care doctor, who will oversee their care. But sometimes, this isn’t enough. Some people continue to have trouble managing day-to-day tasks at home — cooking meals, taking medications correctly, and staying on track with their physical therapy exercises — after they leave the hospital. 

These Long-term rehabilitation programs are designed to help patients with chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis, heart failure, or COPD regain their independence through ongoing rehabilitation services provided by professional therapists and nurses trained to assist people in managing their conditions at home over the long term.

Get Long-Term Rehab in the NY Capital Region

We know that recovery is a journey at Shaker Place Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, so we offer long-term rehabilitation in the NY Capital Region. Our skilled nursing facility is secure, with eight country kitchens, friendly and courteous staff, and patient-friendly treatment. 

If you’re looking for long-term rehab in the NY Capital Region, look no further than Shaker Place. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule your tour!