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The Importance of Rehabilitation for Seniors

A senior man being helped along walking bars by a physical therapist at a senior rehab center.

Following a fall, injury, stroke or other major medical issue, seniors often have one thing on their mind -- going home and getting back to their normal routine. However, jumping right back into a routine may not be safe if their body hasn’t fully healed.  

That's where rehabilitation for seniors comes in. While rehabilitation or physical therapy might be the last thing they want to do, it's often needed to help them return to their ideal lifestyle. But as a caregiver, you know that convincing your loved ones to be away from their home even longer can be a tough sell.  

How can you convince your loved one to consider a senior rehabilitation center? Being able to explain the importance of rehabilitation for seniors can go a long way, whether it’s physical, speech or occupational therapy. And that's exactly what we're going to go over in this post.  

Why Doesn't Your Loved One Want Senior Rehab?

Before we dive into the main benefits of rehabilitation for seniors, it's important to understand why your loved one might be reluctant to try it. Here are some of the common reasons why your loved one might not want to try short-term senior rehab:  

  • After a hospital stay, oftentimes the last thing a senior wants is to be away from home even longer.  

  • Some seniors are afraid that rehab will be difficult or painful.  
  • Your loved ones might think that given their age, senior rehab isn't worth it because they feel like they're "past their prime.”  

As a caregiver or a family member, it can be frustrating to convince a senior to move forward with rehab. But it's important because declining rehab can lead to permanent loss of function and a lower quality of life. So how can you convince your loved one that rehabilitation important? It all starts with knowing the benefits.  

The Benefits of Senior Rehab

Improving Quality of Life

The main goal of rehabilitation for seniors is to improve their quality of life. With the ability to do more and experience less pain, your loved one's lifestyle can become more vibrant. By participating in physical, speech or occupational therapy, your loved one will work on reaching a higher level of wellness.  

Senior rehabilitation also reduces the risk of another injury from happening. For seniors, it takes longer to heal from injuries than for younger people. So, investing the time in rehab helps make sure that their body is prepared for normal activity. After all, the more they heal, the more independence they will be able to enjoy.  

Recover in a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Sometimes there are negative perceptions about senior rehabilitation centers. It's common for some seniors to think of them as smaller hospitals, but that isn't the case. Senior living communities like Willow Brook offer short-term rehabilitation for seniors. Instead of the clinical environment of a hospital, seniors in rehab enjoy the safe and comfortable setting of a community.  

Just because your loved one isn't a permanent resident doesn't mean they don't get to enjoy all of the same benefits. Think of rehabilitation for seniors as a relaxing retreat. It's a place where they can focus on their healing with some meaningful moments along the way. In fact, many senior rehabilitation centers have dining options, private rooms, activities and other amenities to make recovery as smooth as possible. 

Boost Mobility and Independence

Physical therapy for seniors is common for most rehabilitation programs. Since seniors are at a higher risk of falling, finding ways to enhance mobility and strengthen muscles is important. This even includes helping seniors learn how to adapt after having hip or knee replacement surgery.  

The main goal is to help your loved one regain independence. Tasks like eating, being able to comfortably walk or even getting dressed all require practice after a hospital stay. Rehabilitation for seniors may look like an inconvenience for your loved one at first. But it's actually a path to get back to a robust lifestyle. In fact, the success of a rehab program can be the difference between being able to live more independently and needing more daily assistance.  

Recover in Comfort at a Willow Brook Christian Community

If your loved one has had a recent injury, illness or hospital stay, Willow Brook's team of therapy and nursing professionals are here to help. Our senior rehabilitation centers are rated five-star (the best) by Medicare.gov.  It's our goal to help your loved one return home as safely and quickly as possible. To learn more about our person-centered approach to senior rehab, contact our friendly team today.