Post Hospital Rehabilitation: What Is The Best Option For Senior Adults?

The Chesterfield Women’s Journal

July 22, 2014

By Beth Stowe, L.N.H.A.

Beth Stowe, L.N.H.A. has worked in the nursing and rehabilitation industry since 1974 receiving her administrator’s license in 1987. After obtaining her license she transferred to Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center as the Administrator where she has spent the majority of her career dedicating herself to building Westport into the best possible center for nursing care and rehabilitative services in the Richmond area. Under her leadership Westport has become the top performing center in a company of over 60 nursing centers earning several center achievement awards. In addition Beth’s leadership and dedication have propelled the center to a level of excellence that has earned Westport it’s coveted 5 Star rating and recognition by US News and World Report as one of the nations top nursing centers.

When it comes to physical rehabilitation services, the myriad of options can be all too daunting. An option that can often be overlooked, but is frequently the best choice for senior adults are the rehabilitative services of a skilled nursing center, as those offered at Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Patients electing a skilled nursing center for their short-term rehabilitation are afforded the flexibility of receiving those services at a pace that is most conducive to their unique situation and current level of functioning. They are permitted ample time to reach their highest level of independent self-care and mobility in preparation for a safe return to the community.

The question then becomes how to select the right skilled nursing center for yourself or your loved one. There are multiple factors to be considered and tools available to assist patients and their families with the selection process. One of the most valuable tools is the 5 Star Rating System. Introduced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the 5 Star System rates centers from a low of one star to a high of five stars based on three key factors: health inspection results, quality measures, and staffing levels. While each of the components is important quality measures may provide the most useful insight into a center’s performance by illustrating the safety of its environment and medical proficiency. Quality measures provide statistical center data in key performance areas such as the management of urinary tract infections, prevention of pressure ulcers, and pain control.

In addition to performance, other factors to consider should include the availability of therapy services (7 days/week and number of hours/day), the number of qualified rehab staff coupled with their education and specialized training, the type and variety of therapeutic equipment as well as the physical environment. Westport has the largest rehabilitation staff in the area with over 20 therapists and therapy assistants, including physical and occupational therapists and speech language pathologists trained to provide specialized care for patients with orthopedic, cardiovascular, neurological, or other debilitating conditions. Another consideration is the availability and access to on-site physician and support services including those of an orthopedic surgeon, geriatric medical doctor, and wound care specialist. Questions to ask when determining the availability of physician services may include: “How frequently is the medical director in the center?” and “Can I be seen by a physician if there is a change in my medical condition?” Patients at Westport benefit from two staff medical directors, an orthopaedic surgeon, and a wound care physician who round out the facility’s vigorous and skilled team approach to rehabilitation.

What can you expect from your rehab program: While there can be many components to your rehabilitation program that will contribute to the success of your recovery, the major elements will consist of physical, occupational, and speech therapy, if needed. Physical therapy concentrates on mobility, strengthening, and balance/coordination incorporating various modalities including electrical stimulation, pain management, biofeedback, and heat/cold therapy. In occupational therapy, the patients work toward maximizing independence, either through relearning to perform routine activities such as cooking and cleaning, or in self-care activities such as dressing and bathing. Speech Language Pathology is the diagnosis and treatment of all types of communication and swallowing disorders and offers specialized care for aphasia, dysarthia, dysphagia, and speech disorders as a result of neurological disease, deficits in thought process or head injury. Discharge planning should begin on the day of admission to establish your individual treatment plans and goals with regularly scheduled care-plan meetings. The meetings are conducted throughout your stay to measure and discuss progress as well as provide education for you and your family members. At Westport, a part of the care process is teaching family members how to care for patients and maintain safety at home after discharge with a focus on achieving the optimum discharge outcome.

Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is the area’s only consistently 5-Star rated facility under the Medicare rating system and was recognized again in 2014 by US News and World Report as one of the best nursing centers in the nation. For more information on selecting a skilled nursing center, or to learn more about Westport Rehabilitation call (804) 287-8600 or find us on the web at

September 22, 2014 | Posted by CareOne | Filed in Blog, News | Tags: , , , , , ,