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Are You in Need of Pulmonary Rehabilitation?


This holiday season is not starting exactly the way you expected. Rather than being home with your family cooking a Christmas Eve dinner, you find yourself spending one last day in the recovery wing of a 24-hour skilled nursing care center. An unexpected infection after the scheduled hip replacement surgery is the cause of the delay. Luckily, the rest of the recovery should go really well. A seven day a week sub-acute post-hospitalization care center, including pulmonary rehabilitation and physical therapy, will have you back on track by the beginning of the new year.

Many patients need a multi-level plan for surgery recovery. In addition to using occupational and physical therapy to recover from hip, shoulder or other surgeries, many patients also need pulmonary rehabilitation to make sure that they do not develop respiratory issues while they are exercising. Without a team approach, many patients would not be able to recover as quickly and return to pre-surgery activities, if at all.

Restorative care plans for various pulmonary disorders allow patients to achieve the needed exercise to recover from a variety of surgeries. Not surprisingly, the goal of physical therapy to make daily tasks and activities easier can run counter to the respiratory problems some patients have. When the physical therapist and the pulmonary rehabilitation specialists work together, however, the goals of walking, going up stairs, and getting in and out of the bathtub, shower and bed can still be achieved.

In home skilled nursing care can also help recovering patients achieve post surgery goals. Working with both physical and respiratory therapists, even patients with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma can work toward physical goals. Obviously, physical therapy includes exercise. It can begin, however, with muscle stretching, core body exercises, simple weight lifting, and treadmill walking if a patient needs to avoid respiratory problems.

Long term care nursing can be expensive, so the goal of many discharge planning teams is to work toward a return to independent living whenever possible. If independent living is no longer possible, many assisted living options can provide different levels of care. Many of these assisted living or nursing homes are designed to be more like a community than a hospital. By providing kitchens and communal areas for residents to gather, residents can have the best of two worlds. While still having an independent living space, these residents can also have access to 24/7 skilled nursing care when needed.

Recovering from surgeries often involves several stages of care. Older patients, especially those with respiratory issues, often need the combined attention of physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists. Working together, these recovery therapists can help patients return to desired mobility levels, while also guarding against respiratory problems.

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