After a person has stabilized following a spinal cord injury or surgery, they will mosy likely need to go to a specialized hospital called a rehabilitation center.
While the nearest facility may seem like the most convenient and therefore best choice it may not offer the level of service needed in a complex injury or disease.
Points to Consider
This article will discuss what you need to know and what you should be looking for in your rehab facility. Choosing a spinal cord injury rehabilitation facility can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make so you need to take time to feel confident about:
• the level of attention
• the speed of rehabilitation
All spinal cord injury rehab programs have features that you can compare regardless of your knowledge on the rehab process or the extent of injury. Ultimately the decision will depend on:
• personal circumstances like age and health prior to injury
• level of support offered
• cost of portion not covered bi insurance (where applicable)
Questions you should ask each facility
Do you offer both live in rehabilitation program as well as a day program
How many patients are admitted or treated at a time
How many patients have you treated with injuries similar to mine
What is the average age of patients you treat here
Do you specialize in any specific type of rehab
What medical services are offered here
What alternative therapies are offered here
What happens in the case of a life-threatening emergency
Does this facility work for every stage of recovery from intensive care to inpatient rehab to post acute rehab to outpatient services
What’s the standard length of treatment
Will I see the same team member each time (i.e. the same physiotherapist, the same speech therapist, the same occupational therapist)
Are there weekend activities
Is there counseling service for both myself and my family
Is there vocational counseling as I am ready to leave
What does visiting look like at the center
Before choosing any rehab center it’s wise to have a site visit. You may not be able to speak with a physician but what you can watch for are things like friendly helpful staff and availability of staff professionals to answer your questions and overall impressions as to the atmosphere of the facility.
Having a sense of comfort with the rehab facility’s atmosphere will affect a patient’s speed of recovery so look for happy and encouraging staff who see the best in tough situations and who expect miracles every day.
It’s not easy making these decisions for yourself or your loved one and a good rehab facility will look to help the entire family, not just their patient.