Senior female opening door for caregiver

What Does Outpatient Therapy Look Like for Seniors?

When it comes to recovering from surgery, injury or illness, you have options. From outpatient therapy to live-in nursing care, there’s a diverse set of care providers who can address your or your loved one’s unique health needs. But how do you know which is right for you? Start by collecting the facts. To help your search, we put together this quick rundown of outpatient rehabilitation services and its advantages over other options.

What is Considered Outpatient Treatment?

Unlike inpatient or live-in solutions, outpatient therapy means staying in your own home and visiting an area provider for care. Your therapy provider or physician will begin with making a frank assessment of your care needs to determine if they’re appropriate for outpatient treatment. Then they’ll design a course of therapy – most commonly physical and occupational therapies – and an appointment schedule.

Typically, you’ll go for an appointment at least once a week, but a more intensive outpatient therapy schedule of up to five visits per week may be recommended. Outpatient therapy is a good fit for those who are still mobile and independent – doubly so if they can drive or arrange transportation. Being able to manage self-care throughout recovery, including medication and at-home exercise, is also important.

Outpatient or Inpatient Care – Making The Choice

Now you know the difference between outpatient and inpatient care – but when is inpatient therapy the best option? Generally, the answer to this question is tied to the difficulty of recovery. More severe health complications usually require inpatient care to take advantage of 24-hour skilled nursing. And it may not be practical for caregivers to transport necessary support equipment to the seniors’ home, making outpatient therapy impossible.

A key advantage for inpatient therapy comes in reducing hospital readmissions. For post-surgical care or recovery after any hospital visit, only inpatient therapy providers surround you with a support network 24 hours a day. That means more flexibility in handling health issues as they arise – and access to more expertise on short notice, if ever needed.

It’s also important to remember that not all inpatient rehabilitation providers are the same. Some are based in a more traditional clinical environment, while others use a community model that emulates the comforts of home. Either way, inpatient care providers offer options for a broader variety of health issues, including advanced wound and dialysis care.

Outpatient Physical Therapy vs. Home Health

There’s still one option for rehabilitative therapy we haven’t discussed – home health. It’s just what it sounds like. Instead of visiting or living at a care center, therapists and aides visit your home at scheduled times.

This has obvious benefits – like nonmobile seniors still being able to get the help they need without leaving home. But it’s not without disadvantages. Like outpatient care, it shouldn’t be used for more intensive therapy treatment. And you’ll have to pay an additional fee for caregivers to visit your home that you wouldn’t pay for other kinds of care.

The Highland Difference

Highland Rehabilitation & Health Care Center combines a convenient Kansas City location with ample care options for you or someone you love. Whether seniors stay at our community or receive care from our home health aides, we’re committed to putting your health first.

There’s plenty of perks to recovering at our rehab center – like healthful, delicious dining and 24-hour support from our welcoming care team. From suites to studios, each residence offers a comfortable, secure atmosphere where you can relax and feel good about getting better. Whether you’re recovering from a surgery, injury or illness, you’ll be supported in every way by our dedicated rehabilitation experts.

Questions? We’re here to support you. Contact us today and a member of our team will reach out to continue the conversation.