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Preparing for the Transition: From Hospital Stay to Short Term In-Patient Rehabilitation

Preparing for the Transition: From Hospital Stay to Short Term In-Patient Rehabilitation

The need for in-hospital intensive or acute medical care is a result of a serious illness, injury, or accident. Before the patient can return home, short-term in-patient rehabilitation is often required once the patient is released from the hospital. The purpose of short term rehab is not only to support recovery and healing, but also to help patients rebuild strength and regain function to return to as normal a life as possible.

It’s important to understand what transitional rehab is and what can be expected while the patient is there. Doing so will help relieve some of the stress and anxiety the patient may be feeling about transitioning from the hospital to the rehabilitation facility.

While in the hospital doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are in charge of the patient’s medical care. Rest and recovery is the only responsibility the patient has. When moved into transitional rehab, however, the focus shifts towards the patient having more responsibility for their recovery. The goal now is to get them back in shape and healthy to return to as normal a daily routine as possible. Although medical supervision and care are a major part of short term rehab, recovery now requires a lot more participation from the patient.

Below are important things to know to help you or your loved one prepare for the transition from the hospital to the transitional rehabilitation facility.

  1. There will be a lot of information and details to handle all at once, so it’s very important to create and maintain a transition checklist. Not only will you need to keep track of all doctor and other specialist info, but there are also medications to track, lists of items to take to the short term rehab facility, and a host of other important phone numbers, addresses, and information. You can search for online resources to help you create a list, or look for books on Amazon or in your public library.
  2. Ask questions! While trying to organize and keep track of vital information, questions are bound to come up. What are the rehabilitation options? Does the facility allow a tour before transition? What type of treatments will I or my loved one receive once there? These are just a few of the questions that you may want to ask. The more informed you are, the less stressful the transition will be for you and your loved ones.
  3. By the day of the move from the hospital to the transitional rehab facility, you should already have started to set a discharge plan in place. You need to establish where you or your loved one will live once discharged. Will you return home and be responsible for your own care? Is at-home assistance available, or will you stay with a family member? What therapies and treatments will be needed when you go home? If you or your loved one are to return home after discharge, preparations should begin immediately to make the home as accessible and safe as possible to allow the person to live as independently as they can. If the next transition is into an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, these arrangements should be made as soon as possible. Your social worker or the hospital discharge planner is a great resource for helping you decide what the next steps to take are.
  4. Bring a few comfort items from home. A few small family photos or a favorite blanket or pillow can be really helpful in relieving some of the stress you or your loved one may be feeling about moving into a short term rehab facility.

    It is advisable to leave valuable items, perfumes, cologne, or scented lotions at home.


Transitioning from the hospital to the rehabilitation facility can feel overwhelming. By better preparing yourself and/or your loved one for what comes next will help relieve a lot of stress and anxiety about the move.

You should expect to work with a team of rehab specialists including various therapists, nursing staff, doctors, and other professionals in short term rehab as necessary. Your case manager will work with you and your loved ones to formulate a specific treatment plan based on the needs of the patient.

Margate specializes in Transitional Rehabilitation, a comprehensive rehabilitation approach that focuses on short-term recovery after surgery or other illness. Our focus is on providing each patient with a positive rehab experience. Because of these positive experiences, a significant number of our patients return to Margate for future rehabilitation needs. Contact us today to learn more.