What Are the Different Types of Rehabilitation Facilities?

Written by Kerry Lange

| 3 minutes
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Some people are more likely than others to need special medical care. For example, if someone you care for has had a stroke or brain injury, they may require physical rehabilitation services at a facility that can help them recover their mobility and resume living life fully again.
A person with Parkinson’s disease might also find value in these types of programs that focus on improving strength training techniques so as not to worsen symptoms caused by rigidity from decreased muscle control.
There are various types of rehabilitation facilities, each with its focus and level of care. The type of facility that’s right for someone will depend on their individual needs.

Long-term Acute Care Facilities

Long-term acute care facilities (LTACs) are a specific type of facility that provides care for patients with complex medical needs. LTACs are often used when patients no longer need the level of care provided by a hospital but still require more care than can be provided at home or in a nursing home.
LTACs usually have a team of specialists who work together to create a treatment plan for each patient. This team may include doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health care professionals. The goal of treatment is to help patients improve their health and quality of life.
Patients in an LTAC often have chronic illnesses or face multiple health problems. They may need help with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, and bathing. They may also need assistance with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility

Inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) are another type of rehabilitation facility that provides care for patients who have had a recent hospital stay and need more time to recover before going home. IRFs are designed to help patients regain their independence. The care team at an IRF will create a custom rehabilitation plan for each patient. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities provide around-the-clock care for people recovering from severe injuries or illnesses.
According to occupational therapist Sarah Stromsdorfer, OTR/L, of Emory Healthcare in Atlanta and founder of MyOTSpot.com, “Inpatient rehabilitation is the most aggressive, with patients having 3 hours a day of therapy about five days per week.” The length of stay at an IRF will vary from patient to patient. Some patients may only need a few days of care, while others may need a few weeks.

Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are rehabilitation centers that provide care for people who need skilled nursing or rehabilitation services. SNFs can be stand-alone facilities or part of a larger hospital complex. Services typically provided in an SNF include 24-hour RN coverage, Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT), Speech Therapy, and long-term care.

A Skilled Nursing Facility is necessary when an individual can no longer complete activities of daily living (ADLs) on their own and requires assistance. The most common reason a person needs an SNF is because they are recovering from a surgery, illness, or injury and need help with activities such as bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, and eating. Some people also need skilled nursing care if they have a chronic illness such as dementia, heart failure, or diabetes.

How Therapy Helps

Physical rehabilitation facilities offer medical care and therapies to help patients recover from an injury or illness. There are many different types of therapies, but the goal of each one is to help patients regain their independence. 

The role of therapy in getting patients stronger is to help them regain lost function and improve their quality of life. therapies in physical rehabilitation facilities are a key part of this process, as they can help patients relearn how to perform everyday activities and build up their strength. “They are instrumental in working together to address each client’s deficits and improve independence and their level of function,” Stromsdorfer says. All these therapies aim to help the patient live as independently as possible.

  • Occupational helps patients regain their ability to perform activities of daily living. Occupational therapists teach patients how to do everyday tasks, such as dressing, eating, and bathing.
  • Speech therapy helps patients regain their ability to communicate. In addition, speech therapists work with patients to help them improve their speaking skills.
  • Physiotherapists can help them regain movement in their limbs.
  • Physical therapy helps patients regain their strength and mobility using exercises and other techniques to help patients improve their movement.

Find Your Options for Rehabilitation Services

As a family caregiver, you should be familiar with all the options for rehabilitation services to ensure that your loved ones are getting the best care they need. According to Stromsdorfer, the hospital’s therapist assesses the patient’s level of function and determines the best rehab for their case. “Don’t feel like you are alone in this decision as your acute care therapists and case managers are trained to help you with this decision,” she added.

If you’re finding it hard to decide the best rehab options, it is better to ask for help from a circle of care that may include family members, friends, and the community. With this, our CircleOf app can help. We keep you connected with your support networks and even provide resources to discover new caregiving tools, experts, and information.

When you’re overwhelmed with all the family caregiving ideas, download the app (for FREE) and get things done the stress-free way!

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