I visited my grandmother in a rehab facility years ago and hated the sounds and the odors. Can I expect something better?

Most people who haven’t visited in a facility in at least 10 years are surprised at our beautiful and relaxing facility. The top comment on our satisfaction surveys is that patients and their families are amazed at the comfort and elegance we provide. Take a tour of Wauconda Care and see for yourself.

What if I don’t want to share a room with someone who is old and sick?

We understand the importance of privacy and the need for peace and quiet. It is difficult if not impossible to heal without uninterrupted rest. That is why we offer private rooms and suites for anyone who calls ahead to reserve a space with us. You can put that fear to rest!


Isn’t skilled rehab the same thing as a nursing home with a fancier name?

Skilled rehab and nursing homes are very different. In the past, only the elderly and sick went to facilities other than hospitals. That isn’t the case today because 80% of people leave the hospital to finish their recuperation in a skilled nursing facility that offers inpatient rehabilitation.

The reason for this shift is economic. Due to the enormous cost of healthcare, staying at the hospital for a full recovery isn’t feasible because insurance companies won’t pay for it. Nearly all of our patients come to us for short-term recovery before they return home.

What exactly is skilled rehab care and how will it improve my transition home?

Skilled rehab, also known as post-hospital or post-acute care, is designed as a bridge from your hospital stay to re-engaging with your everyday life again.

A short stint at a skilled rehab facility gives you time to heal in a restorative setting. The main purpose is to provide you with essential “next step” care through a collaborative team therapeutic approach, led by a physiatrist – a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Why shouldn’t I just opt for skilled rehab in a hospital setting?

Receiving skilled rehab services means you don’t need around-the-clock doctor, surgery, emergency and ICU services.

However, you still can benefit from a high level of clinical and rehabilitation care to keep your recovery on track. Some hospitals offer skilled rehab in a separate ward, but the service doesn’t provide as many one-on-one therapy sessions, and it doesn’t include the comfort and amenities of home.

What if I’m already discharged from the hospital? Do I still qualify for skilled rehab?

We do accept patients who were discharged from the hospital. These are people who find a need for skilled rehab and nursing assistance after leaving the hospital.

Can’t I just work with a visiting physical therapist at my home?

Today’s shorter hospital stays sometimes result in patients being discharged before they are ready to safely resume their independent lives. The treatment plan ordered by your physician will determine how much therapy you will need and if skilled rehab makes sense for your situation.

My physician has referred me to another facility but I’d rather come to Wauconda Care. Can I do that?

Yes, you can. When you have identified Wauconda Care as your preferred facility, just let the hospital’s discharge planning staff and your physician(s) know.

Is there a limit of how long I can receive skilled care?

If Medicare is your primary payer, you are given up to 100 days, so long as your medical condition meets the Medicare-defined guidelines. You must keep showing improvement for Medicare to continue to cover within that 100-day benefit period.

Most people who come to Wauconda Care are discharged home within three to five weeks. Your own recovery will depend upon a number of factors including your overall health and well-being before your recent hospital stay, and the type of condition and surgery you were treated for at the hospital.

What types of services will I receive from Wauconda Care?

In addition to skilled rehab and 24/7 nursing care services, Wauconda Care can also provide:

  • A nurse to attend to a post-operative wound or to dispense and monitor intravenous medications.
  • A physical therapist to work with a patient to rectify strength and balance issues.
  • A speech therapist that can assists in reclaiming a patient’s ability to communicate and/or swallow following a stroke.
  • An occupational therapist that can help patients become independent again particularly when it comes to dressing, personal hygiene, and eating.
  • Pharmaceutical, laboratory and radiology services.
  • Social and educational activities.
  • Laundry services.
  • Limited transportation


How quickly will I be evaluated after I arrive at Wauconda Care?

You will usually meet your therapist on your day of arrival, and depending on how you are feeling, you may be evaluated at that time. If you arrive late in the day or early evening, you will be greeted by someone from the therapy team, but your evaluation will probably happen the next morning.

How does your team determine what kind of therapy I need?

We work right along with your physician to choose the best course of therapy for your needs. We also have a physiatrist (a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation) on staff who will meet with you each week. Dr. Sharma is a beloved member of our team, and he will help ensure you are meeting your goals and getting the best possible results from therapy.

How much therapy will I receive each day?

You will receive as much therapy as you are able to tolerate to help you recover faster. Your level of pain will help the therapists determine the best options, and so we encourage our patients to be truthful about how they feel. We can address pain with medications and other therapies but only if you tell us.

What happens if therapy is too painful for me?

No activity should cause intense pain. If therapy becomes too painful, we stop until we have provided you with the medication and other therapies needed to make it manageable. Therapy is key to making a full recovery and we believe in making it easy and tolerable.

What if I’m too fatigued or achy to participate in my PT session?

It’s alright if you are too tired to finish a session. Getting adequate rest is another component of your recovery, and you can always try again later in the day. You can also choose to take a day to recuperate, and make up a session on another day. We’ll work with you to control your pain, aches, and stiffness.

Will I work with the same team of therapists?

Yes, you will see the same therapists every day. Our physiatrist, Dr. Sharma, will also see you on a weekly basis. When Dr. Sharma is not in the office, a nurse practitioner will continue to update him on your progress.

How can I continue therapy after I leave Wauconda?

If you still need therapy after you go home, we can help arrange for a home health therapist to visit you or you can continue with an outpatient therapy service. Our discharge social worker will support you in making the best choices for your lifestyle.


What happens if I experience pain during or after therapy sessions?

If you experience pain during therapy, we will stop and evaluate your situation. We can also provide pain medication, reduce your overall exertion, or implement other methods to control your pain your exercises. You know your body best, and we will always listen to your concerns every step of the way.

How will you be able to minimize my pain?

We have various pain medications to manage your pain. However, there are alternative options, which include ultrasounds, Biofreeze, diathermy, hot and cold packs, and therapeutic massages.

If I do need drugs, will I become addicted to narcotic pain medications?

We do everything in our power to ensure addiction does not happen. We gradually adjust medications during your stay to provide optimum pain relief with the least amount of medication.

Some days my acute pain is worse than others. Why is that?

Your pain can vary based on the your daily activity and the amount of therapy you receive. Other variables can also affect the intensity of your pain, which is why we individualize your treatment plan to minimize your pain and optimize your progress.

What is palliative care and when is it appropriate?

Palliative care alleviates pain and stress when a patient is suffering from a progressive and deteriorating disease such as Alzheimer’s Disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, or cancer. The process can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

Palliative care also relieve suffering and provides much-needed physical, emotional, and spiritual support for the patient and their family. Please speak to us if you believe that you or a family member is a candidate for palliative care.


Are there foods I will need to avoid during recovery at your facility?

If there are special dietary requirements for your recovery – for instance, if you need a heart healthy or sugar free diet — your doctor will let us know when you leave the hospital and we will be ready for you at Wauconda Care.

How will you be assured that I’m getting enough nourishment?

Our nursing team will carefully monitor your calories and fluid intake. Food helps you heal, and we want you to get the proper nutrition and hydration while enjoying your meals.

What if I’m sleeping when my meal arrives?

If you do not wish to be disturbed during naps, we will not bother you. We can save your meal or we offer an “Always Available” menu that you can use to select menu items during off hours. Don’t worry, you will not go hungry at Wauconda Care.

Do you offer certain specialized diets, e.g., heart healthy or sugar free?

We offer different diets to meet your needs. We can also work with you, your doctor, and our dietician to create a customized food plan. Some of our special diet programs include:

  • Nutrition
  • Weight Loss
  • Weight Management
  • Vegetarian
  • Fruitarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Raw Diet
  • Therapeutic Diet

Can family members bring favorite food items when they visit?

Visitors can bring their own food. They can also bring in take out meals from restaurants as well as coffee or tea.


Who will be on my care team?

Your care team always includes your attending physician and a physiatrist – a physician who specializes in rehabilitation.

The team may also include:

  • Nurse
  • Dietician
  • Physical, Speech or Occupational Therapists
  • Wellness Coordinator/Social Worker



What will happen when I am ready to be discharged?

Before you can leave Wauconda Care, our therapists will conduct a safety assessment of your home to make sure you can safely continue your recovery outside of our facility.

On the day of your discharge, our nurses will review your medications and go over any instructions that need to be followed at home. We will work with you, your family members, and caregivers to help you return to home without incident. Even though you might go home any allowed medications from Wauconda Care. You or a family member may want to plan on a trip to the pharmacy for any new prescriptions ordered by your doctor.

We are always a phone call away if you have any questions. We’ll also call you a few days after you return home to check in on your progress.

Will I need to make adjustments to my home environment?

It’s best to make adjustments with the help of a family member prior to your admission to the hospital. Clear all walking areas to prevent accidents, and consider a first-floor sleeping arrangement with a firm bed low enough so that your feet touch the floor when you sit on the edge of the bed. This will provide ample support when getting into and out of bed. Your therapist may also make suggestions during your home safety assessment.

Are there community services that can support me once I’m back home?

Our social workers are experts on the community services available in your area. They can help set up grocery delivery, home health services, home adaptation services, and even regular meal delivery schedules. Before you go home, the social worker will review all of these services with you and help you choose the best options that fit your lifestyle.

Will I still be able to call my wellness coordinator with questions after I go home?

Your Wellness Coordinator is available to you any time after discharge to answer any questions or assist with problems.

Is there anything I should be particularly vigilant about at home?

Falls are always a concern at home. We recommend removing any throw rugs, ensuring adequate lighting, and positioning furniture to allow for a walker or any other assistive device.

Another priority is staying on top of multiple medications. Before you leave Wauconda Care, your nurse will review all of the medications with you. This allows you or your caregiver to keep track of them once you’re home. We also recommend keeping a list of your medications, their purpose, and the prescribed dosage. You should also ask a family or friend to pick up any new prescriptions ordered by your doctor.

Going home with a wound can be concerning, but we can ease your worries. Our wound care team will review the proper techniques of wound care with you and those will assist you at home. We’re also available by phone should you have any questions after you leave Wauconda Care.

Will I be able to come back to Wauconda Care if I don’t feel well?

You can always return to our facility if your situation takes a turn for the worse. However, know that each insurance company has different guidelines regarding readmission, but our admissions team is always available to help you with the process.

If you have Medicare, you can be readmitted to the facility within 30 days of discharge (if you still have Medicare days available). For more specific questions, please give us a call, and we will help guide you in the right direction.


How often do you have Happy Hour?

With a doctor’s approval you can participate in our Happy Hour events, which occur twice a week at 5 p.m. We serve wine and appetizers, and friends and family are more than welcome to join!

Which activities are available to me at Wauconda Care?

With your doctor’s permission, you may participate in any of the activities, games, or entertainment that we offer.


How often may I have visitors?

You may have visitors at any time of the day. Our building is always open, and your visitors are welcome to visit at any time.

What types of gifts or items should visitors bring?

Flowers and plants are always an appropriate gift. Bringing outside food is also another option. They can also bring magazines, newspapers, and newsletters for a constant stream of reading material.


What is holistic medicine?

Holistic medicine is a form of healing that affects body, mind, spirit and emotions to help achieve optimal health and wellness. The treatment is effective when used with traditional medicine.

What are some examples of holistic approaches?

Some examples include acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, guided imagery, and aromatherapy.

What is guided imagery?

Guided imagery is a form of meditation used to direct the imagination to help with relaxation and healing. With this technique the mind follows an imagined sensory path and cues the body for healing. Using guided imagery can reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and increase short term immune cell response. After a few lessons, you can continue to use guided imagery in the comfort of your own home.