Staying Happy & Healthy After A Short-Term Care Stay


As we celebrate Healthy Aging Month, it is important to understand that as we age it becomes increasingly critical to maintain our physical and cognitive health and develop healthy habits, especially after a short-term care stay. This month start taking the time to engage in these practices to improve your quality of life and overall health.

Make A List Of Health Goals

As you are navigating your recovery after a post-acute care stay, you may find it helpful to continue a list of health goals you want to achieve upon your return home. Setting personal goals and taking the steps to achieve them can provide a sense of accomplishment. Those goals can serve as a focus point and improve the progress of your continued recovery.

If you are recovering from a stroke, you may need to focus on nutrition goals, or you may still be experiencing limited mobility in which case you could write a list of physical fitness and exercise goals. You can also include goals on how to manage stress and maintain your mental wellbeing.

In addition to setting your goals, it is important to consider sharing them with your family and loved ones. They can help you take the steps you need to achieve your goals and provide additional support and motivation. Making a list of health goals and achieving them can help enhance a person’s overall quality of life after a hospitalization or post-acute care stay.

At Prestige Care, our healthcare teams work with each resident upon their return home to develop a discharge plan that may include a list of goals and resources such as exercise recommendations, sample meal plans, and health risk prevention tools. Our goal is to set each resident up for continued success to ensure they are able to enjoy their newfound independence and active lifestyle after their rehabilitation journey.

Stay Mobile

If your mobility was impacted after a hospitalization, you may have required a stay at a skilled nursing center to help improve your strength and stability. While your mobility may have improved during your short-term care stay, there is still room for additional progress to help prevent the risk of future complications.

It is critical to continue staying mobile and active after receiving post-acute care to avoid another rehospitalization. Studies have shown that while inactivity can negatively impact a person’s recovery process, daily movement can help retain muscle memory, increase functional strength, and reduce the risk of a fall by up to 40%.

Upon discharge from a Prestige Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, your healthcare team will provide you with resources related to low-impact exercises and activities you can do at home to ensure your continued success. This may include walking around the neighborhood, water aerobics, or strength building exercises. Staying mobile after your recovery can help improve your functional strength, enhance your cardiovascular health, and increase your overall independence.

Participate In Life-Enriching Activities

While it is important to stay physically active after recovering from a hospitalization, it is also important to engage in mentally stimulating activities. Life-enriching activities can include spiritual, physical, emotional, educational, and social components and are essential for keeping older adults happy and on track for healthy aging.

These types of activities are intended to create an outlet for creativity and activate cognitive function:

  • Enjoying music
  • Reading poetry or a book
  • Creating art
  • Cooking a healthy meal
  • Learning something new
  • Going to church
  • Taking up a hobby
  • Solving puzzles
  • Playing brain games

Participating in life-enriching activities can bring your loved one a sense of joy and peace after returning home from post-acute rehabilitation. It also gives them a sense of purpose, makes them feel like themselves again, and improves their overall cognitive health. Turning these activities into meaningful events can lead a person’s post-recovery journey towards a more fulfilling, happy life.

Socialize With Loved Ones

After a short-term care stay, you may be feeling a range of emotions and may even be feeling isolated as you are adjusting back to life at home. Upon your return back to your everyday life consider reaching out to family members and friends to share your recovery experience or simply catch up with them. Invite them over for a meal or an afternoon outing at the park. Lean on your personal support system to ensure you have the help you need to transition successfully.

Having meaningful interactions and socializing with loved ones can boost your mental well-being, serve as motivation to achieve your goals, and has a positive impact on your overall health. You do not have to go through your recovery journey alone, seek support from your loved ones if you are feeling discouraged or isolated after a stay at a skilled nursing center.  

At Prestige, we know interacting with loved ones can enhance a person’s quality of life and brings joy that is optimal for a healthy life. That is why we work with both our residents and their families throughout their entire stay to ensure they have the support and motivation they need once they are home.

Eat Fresh, Whole Foods

As we age, our diet can begin to make a significant impact on our overall health. This is especially important to understand if you are returning home from a post-acute care stay and are required to make long-term dietary changes. Nutrition plays a critical role in a person’s overall health, even more so after experiencing a serious injury, illness, or surgery. Whether you experienced a cardiac event, have a chronic illness, or are at risk for malnourishment it is essential to consume fresh, whole foods to ensure you are receiving the nutrients you need for a continued recovery.

Eating fresh, whole foods such as leafy greens, blueberries, carrots, and apples are essential in preventing chronic health conditions, reducing blood pressure, and increasing energy levels as a person continues to heal. These types of food are high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants a person needs to sustain a healthy life and avoid malnourishment.

It is also important to avoid or limit foods that are heavily processed, or contain high levels of salt, sugar, and fat. Consuming these foods can lead to high blood pressure, higher risk for health-related complications, and obesity. Our dietary teams at Prestige take into consideration the nutritional needs for each individual and work with them to develop a post-discharge meal plan to ensure they are continuing to receive the proper nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Life After Post-Acute Care

Staying happy and healthy after recovering from a hospitalization can have its challenges, but there are steps you can take to maintain your wellbeing and continue living a joyful, purposeful life. It is important to prioritize both your physical health and your emotional and cognitive wellbeing. This can be achieved through a nutritious diet, regular movement and exercise, cognitive and creative enrichment activities, setting continuous goals, and creating an emotional support system of loved ones.

At Prestige Care, our compassionate team of healthcare professionals are dedicated to providing each person with the resources they need upon their return home so they can continue living a healthy, independent lifestyle. Our goal is to ensure each person achieves optimal recovery after their hospitalization, so they are able to transition back to their fulfilling and active lives at home.