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When short-term rehabilitation becomes long-term care

When older adults face an illness, the need for recovery from a hospitalization or support with daily activities, loved ones may think short-term rehabilitation is the perfect option.

Often, it is.

But we may also need to consider what happens if the loved one is not able to regain abilities fully. Where do you turn next at that point?

Organizations such as Diakon Senior Living Services can help. If you have an aging parent preparing for short-term rehabilitation, making slow progress or not meeting goals, you may want to consider discussing long-term care before it is needed.

Knowing what to expect and having a plan that details your loved one’s wishes can make the situation much less stressful for everyone.

And if you find yourself and a parent in this situation, know that you aren’t alone. Many short-term rehabilitation stays become long-term care and if you are using the right senior living community and care team, you may find this is the best option for your parent.

How long-term care can help …

You need to know your loved one is in good hands, so keep these senior living community attributes in mind:

●     A resident-focused approach to care. The lifestyle should promote choice, purpose and meaning in daily life. A community should take residents’ needs, preferences and more into account to ensure staff members are providing the highest level of care possible while building a relationship that assists in adapting to changing needs.

●     Support is available whenever it is required. A care team should focus on a range of skilled nursing services so the community can care for even the most complex medical issues, with nursing staff available 24 hours per day.

●     Comprehensive care in comfortable surroundings. Care should be complemented by life-enriching activities and programming to help residents enjoy a meaningful lifestyle. This approach will help to ensure your loved one is connected, engaged and cared for each day.

The result is more peace of mind for you. As adult children, we want to know that our parents are being cared for the same way we would care for them, just as they cared for us.

If the senior living community has a specially trained team, person-centered approach and dedication to keeping you involved, you can relax, knowing your parent or other loved one is safe and treated like family.

Robert C. Musser, MBA, NHA

Vice President of Operations, Diakon Senior Living Services