Discover why inpatient rehabilitation at UNC Lenoir Health Care might be the right choice for the next phase in your recovery.
Why Inpatient Rehab?
When getting back home quickly and achieving the best recovery possible are your goals, where you receive your rehabilitation therapy matters. That's why your doctor has recommended inpatient rehabilitation, also known as acute inpatient rehabilitation, as the next step in your recovery plan. So what exactly is inpatient rehab, and why is it the right choice for you?
Inpatient rehabilitation helps people who have experienced the debilitating effects of an acute injury, impairment, or illness. The goal is to help each individual function as independently as possible through specialized treatment programs for conditions including stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, orthopedic injury, neurological conditions, amputation, and trauma.
Inpatient rehabilitation therapy can be an important next step for you or your loved one. The following information will give you a better understanding of inpatient rehabilitation and why it might be right for you.
The Inpatient Rehab Difference
We know that making the decision about where you receive your next level of care can be confusing – especially with so many different options to consider. When you choose inpatient rehabilitation you will be cared for by a team that understands your individual situation and shares the same goals you do – getting you home as healthy, safely, and as quickly as possible.
Before getting started, you probably have a number of questions about inpatient rehabilitation options, including:
- What level of personal attention will I receive from therapists, nurses, and doctors?
- What is the success rate of the program and what medical conditions are they best at treating?
- How quickly can you get back home?
Acute inpatient rehabilitation means you will be cared for by a team that understands your individual situation and is dedicated to helping you recover. In fact, patients treated with inpatient rehabilitation have been shown to receive a higher level of care and achieve better results versus other types of rehabilitation programs. For example:
- Inpatient rehab patients go home sooner
- They have greater success walking independently again
- They receive more doctor and nurse time and attention, including regular visits by their doctor
- They have lower rates of readmission to the hospital during or after treatment
3 reasons why an acute rehabilitation program might be right for you*:
1. Intensive therapy, which helps you go home sooner
2. Daily access to a physician specially trained in rehab
3. Low patient to nurse ratio
*These are national averages and the experience may vary by individual patient and facility.
Types of Patients We Treat
While our patients have a wide variety of diagnoses, ranging from neurologic conditions such as stroke and Parkinson's to pulmonary conditions such as COPD, our inpatient rehabilitation unit stands out as an excellent treatment option because we create a custom rehabilitation program based on each patient's condition and goals.
You may be a good candidate for admission into our inpatient rehabilitation program if you have had a decrease in your ability to function in your normal environment and you have experienced the following:
- Brain injury
- Cardiovascular or pulmonary issues
- Hip or femur fractures
- Lower extremity amputation
- Major multiple trauma
- Neurological conditions such as motor neuron diseases, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, myopathy, Parkinson’s disease, polyneuropathy
- Total hip replacement
- Total knee replacement
- Other medical and debilitating conditions
Your individual situation requires a treatment plan designed just for you. If you have been diagnosed with any of the conditions listed above, inpatient rehabilitation may be the best option for you to reach your goals and return home as soon as possible.
Will Health Insurance Cover Rehab?
Our program accepts most major health insurance carriers, including Medicare. In some cases, payment may be available through Workers’ Compensation. Our team of insurance experts will help you confirm your coverage and will work with your insurance provider to find out if it covers inpatient rehabilitation services.
How to get started
Once you and your doctor have made the decision that you need rehabilitation care, a Clinical Liaison from UNC Lenoir Health Care will help you understand what program is right for you. He or she will also talk to your doctor or case manager, review your chart, and speak with you and your family to understand your current situation and goals and to help make your transition to rehab as smooth as possible.
Rehab After Neurological Impairment
Neurology rehabilitation is a doctor-supervised program designed for patients with injury to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves. People with neurological injuries or diseases sometimes have difficulty moving freely, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. Rehabilitation facilities that specialize in these types of injuries or diseases focus on improving function and helping patients return to a more normal life.
Although there are more than 600 neurological diseases, common diagnoses include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Neuromuscular Disorders
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Most important, the quicker you enter rehabilitation therapy, the better chance you have of recovery. In fact, it has been shown that the sooner a person starts inpatient rehabilitation, and the more time they spend on therapy each day after an illness or injury, the better their recovery is likely to be.
Results may vary by individual patient and facility.
% of patients walking 150 feet unassisted
Impact of therapy on length of stay
What Should You Look for in a Neurology Recovery Program?
While treatment varies from patient to patient, all patients should participate in exercises that help with their individual problems. Therefore, comprehensive rehabilitation therapy should focus on the specific areas that will help you return to your normal daily activities. To accomplish this, you should look for a rehabilitation provider that offers care for your individual needs and includes programs focused on improvements in:
Getting in and out of bed
Dressing, Bathing and Daily Life
Our inpatient rehabilitation programs are designed to help patients improve in all of these areas. Our team of medical experts is trained in helping neurology patients achieve the best recovery possible so that you can get back to a more normal daily routine as soon as possible.
Why is Inpatient Rehabilitation Right for You?
According to a study by Medicare, patients who receive inpatient rehab therapy do much better at discharge:
Our rehabilitation program was designed by experienced rehab experts. Your rehab team has been trained to understand your individual situation and goals. Your team will work with you and other healthcare professionals involved in your care to develop a specialized plan to maximize your comfort and recovery. Your program will include:
- A dedicated, experienced team of doctors, nurses, and physical, occupational and speech therapists
- The latest in treatment technology
- Programs to help you smoothly transition back home or to your next level of care
- Living quarters arranged to be similar to your home environment
- Education and training for patients and family members
76% of inpatient rehab patients are walking independently within 14 days of admission.
In that same period, 79% are able to transfer from their bed or chair to standing.
What to Expect
When you first arrive, we'll assist you in getting settled into your room and becoming familiar with all aspects of our inpatient rehabilitation program. After that, you may be asked to participate in a series of evaluations to help us get more familiar with you and your specific needs. These assessments will be an important part of putting together your personal goals and treatment plan and getting you started on your road to recovery.
Most patients receive a minimum of three hours of therapy each day for at least five days a week. Therapy takes place in individual and group settings, and sessions are scheduled for various times throughout the day. We encourage your loved ones to be part of your rehabilitation program, and to offer encouragement and observe therapy sessions. With your permission, family members are also welcome to speak with staff and ask any questions they may have about your progress.
Who's on Your Care Team?
You'll have a specialized care team of rehab experts who meet regularly to discuss your progress, plan your therapy sessions, and help you reach your goals. The team includes:
Your physician has specific experience in rehabilitation medicine and will coordinate your overall treatment program. You will have regular access to him or her.
Your physical therapist will coach you through exercises designed to help improve your balance, strength, and endurance. Physical therapists will also work with you to decrease pain and improve range of motion, mobility, and functional skills.
Your occupational therapist will help you become more independent by teaching you new ways to perform daily tasks, including bathing, dressing, eating, and preparing food, so that we can help you return to a more normal daily routine.
Your speech therapist will help you work on your communication, memory, hearing, and problem-solving skills. If you have difficulty swallowing, the speech therapist will also address this.
A team of rehabilitation nurses will work together to provide around-the-clock personal care. They're also an excellent resource of information for you and your family during your stay with us.
Case Manager/Social Worker/Discharge Planner
Your case manager and/or social worker and/or discharge planner (varies by facility) will work together to help you find the services you need, create plans for your treatment and recovery, and help you complete a safe transition from the inpatient therapy program to home.
What should you bring?
Here are a few suggestions on what to bring to make you stay with us more comfortable and productive:
Other items you may find useful during your stay include:
Please keep all valuable items, such as money and jewelry at home. You will not need them at our location, and we don't want you to lose track of them during your stay. Note: Staff may be required to check personal electrical equipment for safety prior to being approved for use.
Sample daily schedule
Though your schedule will be customized to meet your individual needs and goals, here is an example of what your day might look like during your time with us:
- Your nurse will start your day with medications and/or any needed medical treatments.
- Nursing or therapy staff will assist you as needed with getting clean, dressed and to the restroom.
- Breakfast is served consisting of your choices from the menu, where available. Community meals in the dining hall are typically encouraged, as this gives you the opportunity to socialize and share experiences with other patients, which in turn provides you with an important and valuable support system.
- You will have therapy scheduled throughout the day.
- Therapy usually begins between 7 and 9 a.m.
- Your therapy schedule for the next day will be shared with you each evening so you will know what to expect.
- Lunch is served consisting of your choices from the menu; where available, community meals in the dining area are encouraged. This gives you the opportunity to socialize and share experiences with other patients, providing you with an important and valuable support system.
- Your nurse will administer any medications and/or treatments you need.
- Your therapy sessions will continue into the afternoon, though your schedule can be modified as needed to include breaks when you need them.
- Your nurse will continue to check on you throughout the day.
- Where available, dinner is served. Community meals are also encouraged in the dining area. This gives you the opportunity to socialize and share experiences with other patients, providing you with an important and valuable support system.
- Snacks will be available as needed later in the evening.
- The evening is a good time for family and friends to visit and for you to rest and prepare for the next day of therapy.
- Nursing staff may practice activities you are working on in therapy.
- Your nursing staff will assist you with getting clean, changed into nighttime attire and getting ready for bed. We encourage you to get a good night’s rest in order to support your recovery and be able to participate in therapy the following day.
Resources for you
- Your rehabilitation physician will visit you to attend to medical conditions and address any concerns you may have.
- Your case manager will visit you regularly and is available to coordinate your care.
- Your case manager's phone number will be provided to you for any questions you have during your stay.
- Your clinical team members are available to answer any questions you or your family/caregivers may have.
- Therapy staff will arrange family or caregiver training as needed before you leave to go home.
- There are several common areas available for socialization and recreation.
About UNC Lenoir Health Care
At UNC Lenoir Health Care, we are committed to helping patients achieve the best recovery possible. Our highly trained, licensed, and certified professionals provide nurturing support and physical rehabilitation for a variety of patients.
UNC Lenoir Health Care is an acute rehabilitation provider, which means it must provide 15 hours of therapy within a 7-day week, according to guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is typically provided for 3 hours per day, 5 days a week. Acute rehabilitation providers are highly specialized at getting individuals back home and functioning at their best level possible.
Common conditions treated at inpatient rehab include (but are not limited to):
- General medical and debilitating conditions
- Multiple traumas
- Neurological conditions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Additional rehab services include:
- Certified Rehabilitation RN(s)
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech/language therapy
Additional pain services include:
- Chronic pain of the joints, neck, back
- Pain related to trauma, cancer, other
- Post-operative pain
We are proud to have received accreditation by the Joint Commission.
Enhancing the patient Experience
We want our patients to achieve the best possible recovery. That means ensuring our patients have positive experiences as well as positive outcomes, as measured against national benchmarks in key therapy areas such as length of stay, discharge to community, and functional improvement. Because we are part of a leading national rehab provider, we are also able to harness a breadth of resources internally to compare outcomes and quality between facilities and programs and share best practices in an effort to always be on the leading edge of patient care.
Specialized Equipment and Therapies
Recovery/Gym Services at UNC Lenoir Health Care
Our program offers a spacious fully-equipped gym which gives you and your clinical care team plenty of rehab therapy treatment options. Interacting with other patients during rehabilitation therapy in our therapy gym fosters camaraderie and can help you stay motivated to reach your rehab goals.
Getting outside to speed recovery
Studies show that outdoor recreation increases happiness and reduces stress in many people. In fact, one study showed that a view of nature, even through a window, speeds recovery from surgery. That’s why we created an outdoor activity area where you can spend time relaxing, enjoying the sunshine, and visiting with loved ones before or after your rehab therapy sessions.
Our outdoor activity area can be useful for your recovery. If improved walking is one of your rehabilitation goals, practicing outdoors on different types of surfaces can help you better prepare for your daily activities once you are discharged.
UNC Lenoir features a walking track around the hospital grounds as well as ramps where patients can practice ambulation and meet with guests.
Additional services or therapies offered include:
- Assistive devices
- Bariatric program (in hospital)
- Certified cardiac rehab program
- Dedicated rehab medical director
- Heat and cold therapies
- Hyperbaric wound care
- In-house dialysis
- Onsite outpatient therapy clinic
- PneuWalkerTM System
Comfortable rooms and locations for relaxation
As part of our effort to make your rehabilitation as comfortable as possible, we are pleased to offer our patients clean, cozy rooms with many of the amenities of home to help you rest before and after your rehab therapy sessions, and get a good night’s sleep.
Our private and semi-private rooms feature wall-mounted televisions with cable, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth alarm clocks, LED lighting, and recliner chairs for guests. Each room has its own bathroom as well.
The Importance of Support
Support groups are an important resource for patients and their family members or caregivers. Support groups for rehabilitation programs consist of people with a common condition or similar challenges who meet on a regular basis to talk about their experiences, share ideas, and provide support for one another.
One of the biggest advantages of support groups is that they help participants realize they are not alone – there are other people who have the same problems and goals. For many participants, this is a huge relief and important form of encouragement. Rehabilitation support groups can help participants with both the physical and emotional challenges of rehab therapy, which can be an essential part of your rehab program. For example, members of the group who have the same problems or goals you do can support you and may suggest new ways of tackling a particular problem. Connecting with others to share experiences, information, and advice can be incredibly motivating and beneficial.
We offer the following support groups: Stroke, Parkinson's, Alzheimers, Diabetes, and Cancer.