5 Tips for Transition: A Smooth Move from Rehab to Home
Members | March 09, 2014
If you or someone you love has had to stay at a rehabilitation facility after a stroke, surgery or an injury, you know that recovery can be a long and difficult process filled with uncertainty about what to expect when transitioning back home. Changes will be inevitable, but here are 5 tips that can help make the move back home smoother and less stressful.
If you or someone you love has had to stay at a rehabilitation
facility after a stroke, surgery or an injury, you know that
recovery can be a long and difficult process filled with
uncertainty about what to expect when transitioning back home.
Changes will be inevitable, but here are 5 tips that can help
make the move back home smoother and less stressful:
1. Expect things to be different.
Unrealistic expectations about being able to return to life as
normal can lead to disappointment and frustration. Recovery can
take a while, and in some cases such as a stroke, you may need to
make modifications around the house or get extra assistance from
Recognizing that these adjustments will ultimately
result in a safer and more comfortable living environment may
relieve some of the stress associated with the transition.
2. Start planning early.
If you think you'll need to make modifications around the house,
or have extra assistance, don't wait until you're home to start
planning. Work with the rehab staff and request a home visit from
the physical or occupational therapist so that they can assess the
living environment and make recommendations.
modifications that the therapists suggest and plan for them to be
completed before going home. Make a list of potentially
difficult situations and discuss possible solutions with your
Additionally, take a day to visit home prior to
discharge so that you can troubleshoot issues before moving
3. Stay focused on goals.
Recovery should continue when you go home. Discuss a daily
routine with the physical, occupational and speech therapists, and
work with caregivers to set short and long-term goals while at
Staying focused on goals will motivate you to get stronger,
and you'll minimize the risk of returning back to a hospital or
4. Take advantage of resources.
There are a lot of things to think about when transitioning back
home, but your rehab facility will guide you as you make crucial
decisions regarding home health services, medical equipment, or
adaptive equipment that may be needed.
They can also
put you in touch with resources available within your
Local communities have a wealth of services such
as delivering meals, light housekeeping, transportation and
counseling, all of which will provide a helping hand while still
5. Recognize that it's OK to have help.
Some people are embarrassed about needing assistance after
transitioning home, and some family caregivers think they can take
care of their loved ones all on their own.
It's important to be
realistic about the level of care that will be required, and it's
ok to have extra help. Getting help isn't a sign of weakness, but
one of strength and care.
The earlier you start planning, the
healthier and happier you'll be.
About the author: Tammy Luther is the director of rehabilitation and therapy services at A.G.Rhodes Health and Rehab, a not-for-profit organization operating three skilled
nursing facilities in the Atlanta area.