How to Search for a Nursing Home Rehab Facility

If you are facing major surgery, and have no one to care for you, the next step may be finding a nursing home with a rehabilitation unit. Start with step one for some things to consider.


  1. Image titled Search for a Nursing Home Rehab Facility Step 1
    Discuss your stay with your surgeon. Talk to your surgeon, and let them know you will need to go to a rehabilitation center because you either live alone or your family is at work or unable to care for you. Many families make an effort to say they will help you, but if you need 24-hour care, this may not work.
  2. Image titled Search for a Nursing Home Rehab Facility Step 2
    Pick out rehabilitation centers. Select three to five centers. You can get personal advice from friends, find recommendations or run an internet search.
    • Call them first to be sure they take your insurance.
    • Ask a few questions over the phone, but be sure to ask about visiting on your own or on a tour. There's only so much you can find out over the phone.
  3. Image titled Search for a Nursing Home Rehab Facility Step 3
    Discuss with your stay with your family. For example, how far are they willing to drive to visit you? It’s likely they may have a preference of less than 15 minutes away, but you may want to be out in the country, for example.
  4. Image titled Search for a Nursing Home Rehab Facility Step 4
    Visit at least three centers. The better (RCs) have separate designated areas for rehabilitation. Be honest with your limitations, medical needs, even concerns about any mental anxiety or depression. Ask to tour the entire complex with or with or without a representative. See the rooms, the dining hall, the activity center, common areas, and especially the rehab space.
    • Make sure to ask questions at these centers. When can family visit? Can your pet visit? Can you bring you own food, activities, table, pillows, blankets, or whatever will make you more comfortable? How often can you have a shower?
    • If the center seems inflexible at first, that is a sign of possible trouble ahead. If they won’t let you go down a certain hall unsupervised, (within reason) they will probably limit where you can go on your own once in their care.
    • Note cleanliness, alarms going off un-answered, lack of staff, the expressions of staff and patients, friendliness, and if administrators seem less than honest. Ask about any language barriers, how often doctors make their rounds, if there is always someone on call. Ask about the daily schedule.
    • Security is important. Many centers now have push-buttons to enter codes to enter certain areas. This is to secure patients with dementia, and to keep out those who do not belong. Ask about the doors now, if you know you don’t like being confined.
    • Amenities, such as large windows, birds in cages, patios, gardens, gazebos, a TV, will all make your stay nicer. They will have books, magazines, board games, and puzzles, but if you are an active person, don’t rely on them.
    • If you knit, crochet, or sew, bring them with you along with a task light. Bring a drawing pad and color pencils, DVD’s, your cell, a laptop, journals, cameras, batteries, letter paper and stamps, a foot massager, photos, music, different size containers or zip-bags for supplies, and your favorite snacks. Bring special lotions, your personal hair brush, hair dryer, warm socks, or anything that will make the stay feel more like home. A potted plant or beta fish may be allowed. You will need a laundry bag and a sharpie to write your name on your clothes if the (RC) does your laundry. Let your friends know where you will be.
  5. Image titled Search for a Nursing Home Rehab Facility Step 5
    Pick the three (RCs) you like the best and give your list to the surgeon. They will need to determine when you get out of the hospital, and a social worker will set up where you are going to stay. Tell them your first-third pick and they will call to see who has beds.


  • If you notice something wrong, ask about it. It could become a big issue later.

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Categories: Aged Care