Injured And Alone: Three Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Deciding Whether To Recover At Home Or In A Short-Term Facility


If you live alone, sustaining an injury that limits your mobility can be daunting. You may find it difficult to think about giving up your independence, but you may wonder if seeking care in a short-term rehab facility is the best option.

Perhaps you think you can remain at home but you're uncertain about managing your new needs for self-care and household maintenance. Taking a realistic look at your needs and limitations can help you make the safest decision regarding your recovery period.

Am I able to use mobility devices with confidence?

In order to recover safely at home when you have sustained an injury that requires you to be in a non-weight bearing status for a period of time, you must rely on devices for ambulation. Having total confidence in your ability to navigate safely with a device is vital if you plan to remain at home.

If you are less than 100% certain of your ability to use crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair safely, you should consider seeking care in a short-term rehab facility.

Do I have friends or family nearby to call in an emergency?

If you choose to recover at home, having friends or family members who live within a short driving distance from your home is a good idea. Not only will you feel better knowing help is just a phone call away, friends and family are a great source of help when you need assistance with light housework, shopping for groceries, and food preparation.

Friends and family also provide comfort. Having friends and family who can visit on a regular basis can help meet your needs for companionship when you are unable to drive and get out of the house to socialize.

If you do not have friends or family nearby, a short-term rehab center is the best option. A short-term rehab center will allow you to remain independent for many of your activities while at the same time having staff on duty to assist you in activities of daily living when needed. Many facilities also make it easy to socialize with other members of the rehab community. Games and activities are often scheduled on specific days of the week to provide recreational opportunities.

Is my home safe and equipped for an at-home recovery?

Having your home set up for a safe recovery is vital if you will be convalescing at home. You should not have to navigate stairs in order to get to the bathroom or to your bed. You should have a clear pathway that allows enough space for safe ambulation from one room to the next.

Does your home have adequate indoor lighting that is easy to turn on and off? Good lighting can help prevent falls and make late night trips to the bathroom easier.

You should plan on remaining on one floor for optimal safety. Do not plan on remaining on an upper level in a multi-story home. Due to safety concerns, a person who has to use an assistive device for ambulation should be on the first floor of the home with easy access to a door for safety in the event of a fire.

If your home is not equipped for a safe recovery, you should plan to use a short-term rehab facility instead. Short-term facilities are equipped to handle any assistive devices with ease. They are also equipped with additional features, such as safety bars in bathrooms and adequate lighting for increased safety.

While giving up your independence is never easy, choosing to be safe should always be your main concern. If you lack the confidence to use an assistive device, don't have friends or family nearby, or you have a home that is not equipped for recovery, a short-term rehab facility can provide the care and safety you need until you get back on your feet again. Click here for more info about short term rehabilitation.   

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