Choosing a Rehabilitation center in Pune or anywhere else for long-term care of senior citizens, especially when they have had a stroke, or are suffering from neuro-degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s’ can be a difficult and overwhelming task. It is important to take the time to research and carefully consider all options before making a decision. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a rehabilitation centre:
1. Is it really a rehabilitation centre? : Because of a lack of proper understanding on the part of family members, many would think that an old age home in Pune or elsewhere is adequate to provide rehabilitation. However, do check if they have the infrastructure and team to provide the required rehabilitation. Care for a senior or a patient with rehabilitation needs requires a physiotherapy centre, a gym, and an adequate space to walk – all within the centre. More than that is there should be trained personnel such as a full time staff physiotherapist, occupational therapist etc
2. Quality of care: Research the quality of care provided by the rehabilitation centre. In the absence of standards in India or formal reporting, there may not be any impartial third party review. The number of online reviews may not always be reliable. Study the reviews carefully. You will get clues as to whether or not they are genuine. If they seem genuine, are they meaningful for you to make a decision or not. Look for people in your social circle who may have availed of services of the centre that you are considering. Reviews from families who have actually availed of services are several time more meaningful than the number of online reviews. Research the reputation of the rehabilitation centre. How old is the organization and how closely are the founders involved in care giving or its management are also critical questions.
3. Services offered: Research the services offered by the rehabilitation centre. Are they able to provide the specific care and treatment that your loved one needs? Do they offer therapy, medication management, and other medical services?
4. Staff qualifications: Inquire about the qualifications and experience of the staff at the rehabilitation centre. Are they licensed and trained professionals? Do they have experience working with senior citizens? Unfortunately, having the certificates does not always mean that the staff actually have the compassion needed to care for the senior/patient. When you visit a centre, look for clues that help you determine whether the staff that is responsible for patient care has the required compassion
5. Amenities and activities: Consider the amenities and activities offered by the rehabilitation centre. While this may not be relevant for short term rehabilitation needs, and critical services such as physiotherapy facilities, gym etc are more meaningful, it helps if the centre has place to walk, some common areas within the flat for the senior citizen to move to and sit and have conversations with co-residents. Access to books, periodicals, satellite TV, access to Wi-Fi, all add up to give a sense of involvement and connectedness with the world outside.
6. Location: Consider the location of the rehabilitation centre in relation to family and friends. It is important for family members to be able to visit their loved one regularly, so an easily accessible location, maybe on every weekend, is ideal.
7. Visitation policies: Learn about the centre’s policies on visitation. Are there certain days or times when family and friends are able to visit? Are there any restrictions on the number of visitors?
8. Cost: Consider the cost of the rehabilitation centre. Since today, not all associated costs are covered by insurance, you have to find a centre that cares for your senior and seeks to discharge them at the earliest as opposed to a centre that may seem cheaper but is more interested in sending the senior citizen to an ICU, at the drop of a hat. This is unfortunately the case for several rehabilitation centres/old age homes set up by hospital
It is important to visit each rehabilitation centre in person before making a decision. Take the time to tour the facility, meet with staff, and talk to current residents. It is also a good idea to bring a checklist of the factors to consider when choosing a rehabilitation centre to help you make an informed decision.
Once you have narrowed down your options, it is important to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the contract before making a decision. Take the time to read and understand the contract, including any fine print, before signing. There often costs that you could not imagine at the first instance. Look for transparency in conversation and accounting.
Choosing a rehabilitation centre for long-term care of senior citizens is a big decision, but with careful research and consideration, you can find a centre that will provide the best care and support for your loved one.
In conclusion, choosing a rehabilitation centre for long-term care of senior citizens requires research and careful consideration. It is important to take into account the location, services offered, staff qualifications, quality of care, amenities, activities, cost, reputation, and visitation policies when making a decision. It is also essential to visit each centre in person and have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the contract before making a final decision.
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