Elderly woman doing rehabilitation exercise with trainer
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Rehabilitation Care

Rehabilitation care is a type of temporary, specialized care to help patients regain as much strength, mobility, and function as possible after suffering from an injury, illness, hospital stay, or other life-altering event like a stroke or fall. It often consists of either physical, occupational, or speech-language therapy, or a combination of all three.

Table of Contents

What Is Rehabilitation Care?

Rehabilitation care is a type of temporary, specialized care to help patients regain as much strength, mobility, and function as possible after suffering from an injury, illness, hospital stay, or other life-altering event like a stroke or fall. This care is provided in assisted living communities, nursing homes, and long-term care communities. 

There are also free-standing inpatient rehab centers that are dedicated specifically to providing care to seniors.

Inpatient centers, whether free-standing or located in a long-term care facility, are typically fully-equipped and staffed to provide numerous types of therapies. These generally include (but are not limited to) physical, speech-language, and occupational therapy.

What Does a Rehabilitation Care Community Look Like?

Rehabilitation care centers can be lavish and high end, while others can be more basic and functional. Patients at rehabilitation care centers receive a team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and social workers to work together based on the client’s specific needs. This team develops a personalized course of action to help each patient function as normally as possible again once treatment is finished. In a residential rehab program, patients receive around-the-clock treatment and supervision with regularly monitored progress.

Can Rehabilitation Care Be Given at Home?

Yes, home health care providers can provide rehabilitation care in a patient’s current home environment. This includes medical care in addition to assistance with daily activities like cooking, cleaning, and bathing. Home rehab is often recommended for patients recently discharged from the hospital or an inpatient rehab center. This service is often covered by Medicare if prescribed by a physician. It can also be prescribed by a physician on an outpatient basis.

What to Expect from Rehabilitation Care

Inpatient rehabilitation care centers provide treatment and supervision to patients 24 hours a day, monitoring their progress closely. Days are typically fully structured: patients participate in the various types of therapy they’ve been prescribed, and also receive follow-up medical care. Nurses or aides assist with daily activities like bathing, grooming, and dressing.

Senior woman at rehab working with therapist.

Patients generally have private or semi-private rooms, and the facility often contains large dining and common areas for socialization. There can be swimming pools and fitness rooms available, in addition to a variety of group activities.


Rehab services are designed to help patients regain the ability to perform daily activities, and, in the case of inpatient centers, to transition back home as soon as possible. Stays generally range from several days to several months, depending on the recovery needs. Most centers specialize in either short-term or long-term care.

Rehab care typically includes the following services:

  • Prescribed medical treatments
  • Physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy
  • Pain management
  • Social services
  • Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, grooming, and eating

In addition to standard treatments, patients and family members will be educated on care and safety in the home, such as fall prevention.

Types of Therapy

There are generally three main types of therapy provided in senior rehab care:

  • Physical Therapy: treats the disease or disability through physical movement and exercise. It includes training on specific types of movement such as gait training, bed mobility, and wheelchair positioning.
  • Occupational Therapy: designed for patients to regain daily living skills, such as eating, dressing, housekeeping, and grooming.
  • Speech-Language Therapy: assists patients in regaining the ability to speak with ease and clarity. It can also cover swallowing.

Cost of Rehabilitation Care

Rehab care costs vary greatly depending on the setting and the length of the rehabilitation period. Variances often depend on location, at-home versus community care, acuity of service, amenities of the community, and so on. According to the Genworth Cost of Care study in 2020, the monthly costs associated with different rehabilitation care providers include the following:

Assisted Living Facility$4,300 avg monthly cost
In-Home Skilled Nursing$87.50 per visit
Nursing Home Facility$255 avg daily cost of semi-private room
$290 avg daily cost of private room

Rehabilitation Care can be covered by the following funding sources:

  • Private Funds
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Private Health Insurance Policies
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid

However, the resources available will vary by local resources, need and state of residence.

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