After hospitalization for surgery, an illness, or a stroke, many older patients are not ready to return home when the doctor approves their discharge. Often, what they need is extended rehabilitation in an environment where they can also receive ongoing medical attention and assistance with activities of daily living. If you are searching for a senior rehabilitation center for yourself or a loved one, the following are some important things to consider.

Level of Care

Rehab facilities provide a range of services, from outpatient therapy to skilled nursing, but not all facilities offer the same level of care. Some facilities emphasize physical, occupational, and speech therapy, for example, but are less equipped to care for patients who need other forms of care not related to their rehabilitation. On the other hand, some facilities have trained medical staff who can care for patients with other issues, such as dementia, diabetes, or COPD. Thus, when choosing a facility, make sure to find out what services the facility provides and how well-equipped they are to care for your loved one.

Types Of Therapy

Physical therapy is the most common form of rehab therapy, and it helps patients regain mobility so that they can resume their normal life. However, some patients need more than physical therapy. Stroke patients, for example, may need speech therapy to overcome issues like aphasia or difficulty swallowing. Some patients may also need occupational therapy to regain the ability to perform their activities of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, and preparing a meal) and other meaningful activities related to work and social life. Occupational therapists often help their patients find new ways of doing familiar tasks. When selecting a senior rehab facility, look for one that offers all of the therapeutic services that your loved one needs.

Staff-To-Patient Ratio

If you’re concerned about the quality of care your loved one will receive, research the staff-to-patient ratio at the facilities you’re considering. Unfortunately, many facilities are understaffed, meaning that patients may have to wait a long time for assistance or suffer from unmet needs. When looking into a facility’s staffing, consider not just the number of employees but how they are scheduled. For instance, some facilities significantly reduce staffing overnight, even though many patients need care during the night. In general, facilities that maintain a higher staff-to-patient ratio are able to provide better care.


Even though your loved one will receive professional care at a senior rehabilitation center, your support is still a crucial part of their recovery. Many senior rehab patients struggle with the transition to an unfamiliar environment and the absence of their close friends and family. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, and depression can make it harder for them to recover. Family members don’t just provide emotional support for the patient, but they also serve as advocates for their loved one. Thus, when selecting a facility, consider how easy it will be to visit.

Before you make a final decision, it’s a good idea to visit several facilities in person. A visit and tour will give you a chance to learn details you can’t see on a website, like how quiet or noisy the facility is, how it smells, and how overworked (or not) the staff members seem to be. A clean, well-organized facility with friendly staff and a full range of therapeutic services can offer your loved one the best chance at recovery.