From Seabury Care Management which offers guidance and support to older adults and their families as they face the many choices and concerns associated with aging.
Medicare covers up to 100 days of inpatient rehabilitation, known as “skilled care”. In order to receive the skilled care benefit, one must have a qualifying hospital stay of 72 hours and a physician’s order recommending skilled care. The first 20 days are paid at 100% by Medicare. Days 21-100 require a co-pay of $161 per day, a secondary insurance or private funds will be billed for the balance
Pack a small bag with comfy clothes and shoes and label all of your belongings with your name. Do not bring items of value or large sums of cash. Bring your personal phone book , note pad, and pen along with reading glasses, hearing aids, and dentures. Do not bring any medications, including over the counter drugs.
Therapy is hard work but there will also be a lot of free time. Take along reading materials and any other items that will keep your mind active while you rehabilitate. Take advantage of the senior living community. Getting out of your room, socializing and keeping active will enhance your experience.
Ask questions. Find out who your assigned nurses, certified nursing assistants and therapists are. Ask the staff to explain the daily routine so you know what to expect. Don’t be afraid to ask staff to explain procedures in laymen terms. Use the note pad you packed to jot down your questions and answers.
Advocate for yourself. It is important for you to let the staff know about you; your likes, dislikes and your routine.
You will probably have a roommate. Do inform the staff if you have a problem with your roommate that you cannot resolve on your own.
Plan for the return home. Be honest about your current abilities and who can help you once you are home. A successful discharge is one that is well thought out and planned.
Remember change is difficult. If you find that you are becoming withdrawn, experiencing changes in your appetite, feelings of worthlessness, impaired concentration, noticing changes in your sleep or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, talk to your physician or the staff social worker. You may be experiencing depression, which is a treatable disease.
Featured Image: Flickr @fairfaxcounty