By Mark Kaelin
1. What to bring. Remember you are packing for rehab, not a vacation. “I typically suggest a patient bring five days’ worth of clothes,” says Michelle Kelly, clinical liaison for Green Valley Care Center in New Albany, Indiana. Bring a swimsuit if the facility offers aquatic therapy.
2. What’s the facility’s transportation policy? After a procedure, you’ll have follow-up appointments with your surgeon. Ask the admission representative if the facility schedules these for you and if they arrange transportation as well.
3. Find out what a typical day is like. People are surprised at the amount of therapy they receive with inpatient rehabilitation. Review a typical patient schedule and observe a therapy session if you can so you know what your experience will be like.
4. Learn all you can about your procedure. Review the details of your procedure with your physician, take notes, and ask about the expected recovery time, but also ask about the best and worst case scenarios.
5. Find out if the facility you’re interested in offers prehabilitation. “A short course of physical therapy before your procedure to maximize your strength, range of motion, and endurance can have a huge impact on how long it takes you to recover,” says Shawn Williams, physical therapist and Orthopedic Program manager at Almost Family.
Read more tips about how to make your rehabilitation experience less stressful here.