THE FACILITY

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 have not been in a facility in at least 10 years are surprised at how beautiful and comfortable a rehab setting such as ours actually is. The #1 comment on our Wauconda Care’s satisfaction surveys is how amazed patients and their families are at our facility’s comfort and elegance. Take a tour 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!

SKILLED REHABILITATION

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

Skilled rehab and nursing homes are very different. Here’s why: in the past, only the old and sick went to facilities other than hospitals. Today that just isn’t true: 80% of people coming out of hospitals finish their recuperation in a skilled nursing facility that offers inpatient rehabilitation.

The reason is largely economic. As a result of the enormous cost of healthcare, hospital stays cannot accommodate a full recovery because insurance simply won’t pay for it. Almost 100% of our patients come to us for short- term recovery, which helps prepare them to go home safely.

 

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?

If you are ready to receive skilled rehab services, it means you no longer 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 progressing on track. Some hospitals do offer skilled rehab in a separate section, but typically, their rehab doesn’t provide as many one-on-one hours of therapy, nor does it offer the comfort and amenities you associate with home.

 

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

If you are ready to receive skilled rehab services, it means you no longer 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 progressing on track. Some hospitals do offer skilled rehab in a separate section, but typically, their rehab doesn’t provide as many one-on-one hours of therapy, nor does it offer the comfort and amenities you associate with home.

 

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

Most of our skilled rehab and nursing patients come directly from the hospital; however, we do accept patients who have been discharged home from the hospital and find they have a need for skilled rehab and nursing within those 30 days.

 

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?

 

Wauconda Care provides skilled rehab and skilled nursing care 24/7 such as:

  • a nurse attending to a post-operative wound or dispensing and monitoring intravenous medications
  • a physical therapist working with a patient to rectify strength and balance issues
  • a speech therapist assisting a patient in reclaiming his or her ability to communicate and/or swallow following a stroke
  • an occupational therapist helping a resident to become independent again, particularly when it comes to dressing, personal hygiene and eating

 

A skilled nursing care facility such as Wauconda Care also provides:

  • pharmaceutical, laboratory and radiology services
  • social and educational activities
  • laundry services
  • limited transportation

THERAPY

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?

If you are too tired to continue, we want you to rest because rest is an important component of recovery. Perhaps you would prefer to try again later in the day after a nap. That’s fine with us; you tell us what you want. We will work with you to control pain, aches and stiffness. Sometimes, even if you feel fatigued, exercise is the best medicine for tightness or for working through a joint replacement.

You also may choose a day of rest and then we can pick up another day further on in your recovery to make up the therapy day lost.

 

Will I work with a consistent team of therapists?

Yes, you will work with the same few therapists every day, and our physiatrist, Dr. Sharma, will see you on a weekly basis. On days he is not here, his nurse practitioner will communicate your progress to him. communicate your progress to Dr. Sharma.

 

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.

PAIN MANAGEMENT

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 add pain medication, reduce your exertion or add other pain control methods to your exercises. Don’t worry, we will be there to listen and react to your concerns every step of the way.

How will you be able to minimize my pain?

We have many different options to manage your pain. Of course we offer both narcotic and non-narcotic pain medications. But other options exist, such as e-stim, ultrasound, biofreeze, diothermy, hot and cold packs, therapeutic massages and more. Together, we will find the right solution for you.

 

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

We do everything in our power to ensure that does not occur. We gradually adjust medications during your stayMost people 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 amount of activity you do and the amount of therapy you receive. Many patients with arthritis will tell you some days are worse than others based on the weather. Many variables can affect 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?

The purpose of palliative care is to alleviate pain and stress when the patient is suffering from a progressive and deteriorating disease such as Alzhimer’s Disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), amyotrophic lateral sclorosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure or cancer. It can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

Palliative care can help relieve suffering, provide much-needed support for the patient and family – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Please speak to us if you feel that you – or your family member – is a candidate for palliative care, and we will help guide you.

DIET

I’m guessing the food won’t exactly be 5-star cuisine. True?

Our facilities employ a chef who is committed to making sure the food is both tasty and nourishing.

Sometimes following surgery, patients’ taste buds can be affected by the anesthesia. Often nothing, not even water, tastes normal for weeks after a procedure that requires anesthesia. Don’t worry. This is a temporary condition that will go away with time.

 

What if I have special dietary needs or dislike certain foods?

Just let us know your special needs. We’ll do our best to accommodate you.

 

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 many special diets and will work with you, your doctor and our dietician to create the diet you need to return to health. Some of our special diets include:

 

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

 

Can family members bring favorite food items when they visit?

We welcome family gatherings and invite them to bring favorite foods, take out options and coffee or tea drinks.

CARE TEAM

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

 

TRANSITION TO HOME

What will happen when I am getting ready to be discharged?

The Wauconda Care team will continually monitor your progress and when the time comes, help you make a seamless transition to home. Our therapists will join you and your family at your home to conduct a home safety assessment to make sure you can safely continue your progress at home.

On the day of discharge, our nurses will review your medications and 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.

You will be sent home with any unused medications that are allowed. Your family member may want to plan on a trip to the pharmacy for any new medications that the doctor may have ordered. Making sure that you continue your medications uninterrupted is one of our highest priorities.

We are always available to answer questions and welcome your calls after you have returned home. We will call you after you have been home a few days to check on your progress.

 

Will I need to make adjustments to my home environment?

Preparing your home for a safe return before you enter the hospital with the help of a family member will help ease the transition. Before your surgery, organize your home to clear your walking areas in order to prevent accidents. Consider a first floor sleeping arrangement with a firm bed that allows your feet to touch the floor when you sit on the edge of the bed. Your therapist may also make suggestions to you at the time of your home safety assessment.

 

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

Our social workers are experts on community services that are available in your area. They can help with setting up grocery delivery, home health services, home adaptation services, and even regular meal delivery services. When it is time for you to go home, the social worker will review all of these services with you and help you choose the best options for your lifestyle.

 

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

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

 

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

Falls are always a concern when patients go home. To help prevent falls, we always recommend removing any throw rugs, ensuring adequate lighting and positioning furniture to allow for a walker or any other assistive device. Be careful on your first few days back at home because the change, even to a familiar place, can be disorienting.

Another issue is staying on top of multiple medications. Your nurse will review all your medications with you before discharge so you or your home health caregiver can keep you on track once you’re home. Keeping a list of your medications, what they are for and when and how much to take is helpful. Please ask a family or friend to pick up any new prescriptions your doctor may order. Forgetting prescriptions is the number one cause of hospital readmissions.

If you go home with a wound, you will have special concerns. It’s reassuring to know our wound care team will review the proper care of the wound with you and anyone who will assist you with wound care. The wound care team is here to answer any questions after you go home.

 

Should I know anything about taking my medication?

Taking your medicine is one of the most important success factors upon your return home. 90% of hospital readmissions are due to a failure to take your medicine. Ensuring that you have the necessary prescriptions at home and continue to take them is important!

 

Will I be able to come back if I get home and don’t feel well?

You are always welcome back if you are not feeling well. Each insurance company has different guidelines regarding readmission and our admissions team is always available to help.

If you have Medicare, you can be readmitted to the facility within 30 days of discharge if you still have Medicare days available. We are always available to answer questions and will help guide you to the right decision.

SOCIALIZATION

How often do you have Happy Hour?

As long as your doctor approves you to enjoy a glass of wine, you are welcome to participate in our bi weekly happy hours. We serve wine and appetizers twice a week around 5 pm. Friends and family are welcome.

 

What other socialization activities do you offer?

At bedtime, we have a relaxation tea cart that makes rounds with Sleepy Time Tea, Hot Cocoa, and a few cookies to help you sleep better.

 

What activities may I engage in?

With your doctor’s permission, you may participate in any of the activities, games or entertainment that we offer. We frequently have musicians, visiting entertainment and activities for you and your whole family.

VISITING

I am worried that no one will come to visit me.

Your friends and family will come to visit when you tell them how wonderful Wauconda Care is. Everyone wants to see what a great place looks like in case they need to go someday. Invite them to visit and tell us they are coming. we will make sure you are brought cookies and drinks to enhance the visit.

We encourage visiting for many reasons but the most important is that it makes you feel good and it’s a great way for us to show off our facility. We are proud of what we do and how we do it.

 

How often may I have visitors?

You may have visitors any time of day. Our buildings are open 24 hours a day, and your visitors are welcome to come when it is convenient for both of you.

What types of gifts or items should visitors bring?

Flowers and plants are always a cheering and welcome site.

Feel free to bring magazines, newspapers and newsletters which are regular reading materials at home. The familiar routines from home will help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during your recovery.

Food has welcomed and healing properties as well. Bringing a favorite coffee or muffin for your loved one is a thoughtful gift. Families frequently gather for a group meal which we can provide, or a pizza or takeout meal is also appropriate.

HOLISTIC APPROACHES

Do holistic approaches really work?

Holistic medicine is a form of healing that considers the whole person – body, mind, spirit and emotions – to help achieve optimal health and wellness. Along with traditional medicine, it has been proven to be quite effective.

Can you give me some examples of holistic approaches?

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

What is guided imagery?

Guided imagery, a form of meditation, is a powerful technique to direct the imagination to help with relaxation and healing. Research shows that the proper use of guided imagery can reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and increase short term immune cell response. It can also reduce pain and anxiety. While using the technique, the mind follows an imagined sensory path and cues the body for healing. After a few lessons, you will be able to continue this practice at home.