Q: Two months ago, my husband broke his femur when he fell in our home. He had surgery to insert a rod and pins into the bone and was hospitalized for several days.
Since that time, he has been staying in a rehabilitation hospital. I was just notified that he will soon be discharged but will require additional therapy. If he still needs therapy, why are they sending him home? Can you please explain?
A: To ease your concerns, ask the rehabilitation hospital to clarify why your husband is being discharged. Most likely he no longer meets the Medicare criteria to receive intense inpatient rehabilitation services: he might have reached his “plateau.”
However, you may want to explore other options that could provide assistance. In conjunction with a physician’s order, the discharge planner may be making a referral to a certified home health agency for physical and occupational services in your home.
The intensity of therapy will not be the same, but this could provide services to support your husband as he regains his strength and balance. The discharge planner may also refer your husband to an outpatient rehabilitation facility if he meets the guidelines.
Therapists could also make recommendations about equipment that would benefit your husband to use at home. Be assured that a team of medical personnel will be collaborating on what is in your family’s best interest.
Additionally, it may be beneficial for both of you to consider taking a falls prevention program. Our agency offers the Matter of Balance program through our Health Living Center of Excellence.
It is an evidence-based program conducted remotely (and eventually will be back in person) that educates individuals about how to prevent falls and teaches them exercises that increase their stability. To learn more about these programs, call 978-946-1211 or visit www.healthyliving4me.org.
Are you struggling to care for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at www.ESMV.org for more information. You can also call us at 1-800-892-0890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore.