Senior Rehabilitation Centers

What Are Senior Rehabilitation Centers - Senior Rehab Guide

Getting older is hard work. Responsibilities grow and our bodies start to betray us the older we get. We try to stay healthy and active but common ailments are not always preventable. Injuries and illnesses are more common and it is often harder for our bodies to recover.

The odds of needing an inpatient hospital stay have proven to increase with age. Transitioning from a long hospital stay back home can be difficult to navigate. This is where senior rehab centers can help.

Is rehab the same as nursing home?

Senior rehabilitation centers allow us to rest and focus on recovering after an unexpected setback. There is a lot to consider when choosing a rehab center or nursing facilities. This can be confusing territory to enter especially if we are already hurt or sick.

Senior rehabilitation centers allow us to rest and focus on recovering after an unexpected setback.

We are covering all the basics of rehabilitation centers. Want to know what to expect in a rehab center, why someone might need one, and even how to choose the right one? Read on!

Common Reasons for Senior Rehab

There are endless events that can result in someone needing specialized care. Recovering in a setting like a senior rehab center allows us to focus on healing and rest.


Elderly and young patients alike are candidates for a rehab center after major surgery. Replacing joints like a knee or hip or even routine surgeries are hard on our bodies. Surgery can leave patients feeling weak and unable to complete normal activities. The services offered in a rehab setting can improve healing time and long term mobility.

Neurological Event

There are lasting effects on the brain and nervous system from a stroke or aneurysm. After a stroke, our bodies may have difficulty with speech, eating, and even mobility. The specialists at a senior rehab center assist patients with strengthening muscles. They help us retrain our bodies to complete tasks we used to do with ease.

senior rehabilitation surgery


Frequent falling episodes may indicate underlying issues - from mobility, sight, and even memory concerns. The biggest concern with frequent falls is the resulting injuries. Senior rehab centers are often a great place to increase strength and mobility and check the home for improved function.

Chronic Conditions

Ongoing diseases and illnesses can impact our ability to complete activities or live alone. Parkinson's disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis are common diagnoses that may require a short or long term stay in a rehab center.

Rehab centers may improve the quality of life for those of us suffering from minor conditions. These include things such as difficulty swallowing or memory concerns.

Acute Event

It's no surprise that after a traumatic or acute health event, our bodies and minds need time to recover. Infections like pneumonia can wreak havoc on energy levels and mobility. A heart attack or similar event can also result in long hospital stays. A rehab center would be a good choice to transition before returning home.

Services Offered in Senior Rehabilitation Centers

When staying in a senior rehabilitation center, we are provided with an entire team to care for us. In addition to doctors, nurses, and aids there are several professional services offered. These all help us get back to feeling like ourselves again. Each facility will have varying levels of care and team members.

senior rehabilitation weights

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists work with patients to relearn certain skills. They set individual goals, working towards improving in the area that matters most to the patient. These professionals evaluate your home settings to ensure your safety before returning. If certain activities give us trouble, they work with us. They recommend adaptive tools that allow us to complete activities on our own.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists assist patients with mobility concerns. They use a variety of techniques including exercises, stretches, and more to help get us moving. These professionals help after surgery, falls, or strokes that affected the ability to walk and move.

senior rehabilitation exercise walker

Speech Therapy

Speech-language pathologists assist patients who have difficulty speaking or swallowing. They utilize a variety of exercises and therapies to help the patients' muscles relearn specific movements and skills. For those who can not speak, they have creative communication solutions.

Social Services

Social services cover a variety of specific needs while staying at a rehab center. They assist with mental health, housing, relationship dynamics, or health education. These services are best at helping patients navigate the sometimes tricky transition back to their homes. This team acts as an advocate for patients. They even assist with ensuring in-home care follows after discharge.

ADL Assistance

ADL stands for activities of daily living and includes things such as bathing, dressing, eating. After a traumatic or life-altering event, our mind and body need time to rest. Allowing someone to assist with these activities for a short while can give our mind a break. While in the rehab center, the health care team works with patients to start doing these activities independently again.

Short Term vs. Long Term Stays at Senior Rehabilitation Facilities

Rehab care is not specific to senior rehabilitation facilities. The type of care provided at assisted living facilities, nursing facilities, or even in the home. Dedicated rehab facilities provide these services only to those staying there.

How many days is short term rehab?

The length of stay needed is often determined by insurance coverage and doctor's orders. It is also influenced by the severity of a condition and the time it takes for the patient to feel better.

senior rehabilitation surgical bed

Short term stays are usually considered any time between a few weeks to under 100 days. This type of stay is all that may be needed after an acute event. Short term stays help us return to our former mobility and independence.

Long term stays are usually indicated if we find ourselves needing ongoing assistance. If our bodies or mind are suffering from a more difficult or chronic condition, it may take longer to transition out. Some long term stays may result in a longer-term placement at a different facility. Others may remain in the rehab center focusing on maintaining their quality of life, instead of improving.

How to Choose the Right Senior Rehabilitation Center

Now that we know when we might need a rehab center and what to expect, let's cover how to choose one. We first need to find centers that are accepting new patients and the insurance we have. But there are other factors to keep in mind for your comfort and safety:

Medicare Rating

Rehab centers and nursing homes are given a star rating from Medicare, based on inspections and quality measures. Facilities are given a rating between one and five stars to give us a snapshot of the overall quality of a facility.

Staff Ratio

Ensuring there is enough staff around for every patient can be an important factor for safety and quality of care. Staffing data is included in the Medicare star rating as well. This is also the time to check to ensure the specific services mentioned above are offered.

senior rehabilitation office choose right


Reading reviews and asking friends for opinions helps us get a feel for how a center treats patients and staff. Some angry reviews can be harsh, so it is always best to tour a facility before making a final judgment. Asking the opinion of long time medical providers can also give us a head start on the search.

reviews senior rehabilitation center


Not every rehab center will offer the same level of privacy we are used to in our own home. In addition to a shared meal and activity spaces, there are often shared sleeping and living areas. Private rooms or accommodations are difficult to come by, but not impossible to find.

senior rehabilitation


While most of us prefer a rehab center in our area, its good to double-check the exact location of a facility. Is it close to your doctor's offices? Will friends and family be able to come to visit easily? These are important factors to consider for a place you are planning on living for a while.

Senior Rehab Centers Can Help Get You Back on Your Feet

We are all going to grow old and encounter injury and illness. But we can utilize the resources available to us to remain independent, healthy, and happy. Sometimes this means using rehab centers to give our body time to rest so we can get back to what we love.

senior rehabilitation building

Senior rehabilitation centers can help us feel better faster. We hope you have a better understanding of what to expect and how to choose a rehab center. If you still have questions about rehab, read through some of our other blogs. We have content on a variety of topics, from wellness to finding retirement communities.

Searching for a senior living community near me? Use our find communities tool and find the perfect location today!