Tips for Maintaining Your Health After a Skilled Nursing Stay


Skilled nursing care, also known as post-acute rehabilitation, is for those who need short-term care following a hospitalization from an injury, surgery, or illness. This level of care is intended to successfully transition patients from hospital to home with the tools they need for each phase of recovery to help increase their independence and quality of life.

At Prestige Care, our highly skilled team of healthcare professionals provide each patient with ongoing, comprehensive evaluations to help measure their recovery progress and ensure they are receiving the right level of care necessary to achieve their goals. Prior to being discharged, your healthcare team will discuss your care options and will ensure you have the correct medications, medical devices or equipment, and an at-home exercise and therapy program to continue your rehabilitation as needed. Once a patient is ready to return home, we provide them with a complete discharge plan as well as an evaluation to determine their need for assisted living, home care or outpatient services.

Our goal is not only for our patients to recover, but also to prevent future complications. In order to reduce your risk of rehospitalization, it is important to consider the steps you can take to continue living a healthy, independent life.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

During your rehabilitation journey at a post-acute care center, your healthcare team may suggest a modified or specialized diet to ensure you are receiving the nutrients you need for a successful recovery. Patients who are receiving proper nutrition in addition to their rehabilitation program may be less susceptible to falls, muscle weakness, and lethargy all which can lead to reinjury. This may include a heart healthy diet for someone with heart disease, a controlled carbohydrate diet for patients with diabetes, or a combination of proteins, fruits, and vegetables for those who are malnourished.

In order to reduce your risk of another injury or hospitalization, it is important to continue maintaining a well-balanced diet after your short-term stay. At Prestige, our registered dietitians and dietary team will work with you to ensure you have the resources you need to continue following a healthy meal plan at home, especially if you have a chronic condition or are at risk for malnutrition. It is also important to involve your loved ones when discussing your post-discharge nutrition plan so they can help support you upon your transition to home.

Follow a Daily Exercise Routine

During your short-term care stay, you may be required to go through physical or occupational therapy to help regain your strength, mobility, balance, and coordination during your recovery from an injury. At Prestige, our team of caregivers will work with you to develop an exercise and therapy plan specifically tailored to your individual needs and abilities. Upon discharge, they will also work with you to determine the steps you can take to continue improving your overall functional mobility which may include following an at-home exercise or therapy program.

Exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of a fall by up to 40%, and can significantly prevent rehospitalization for those who may have diabetes or a chronic health condition such as heart disease. Maintaining a daily exercise routine can make a great impact on your continued recovery journey and can improve your overall health to prevent health complications in the future.

Seek Support from Loved Ones

After a stay at a skilled nursing center, it is normal to feel a combination of emotions as you transfer from hospital to home. Your range of emotions can be more amplified as you are getting ready to discharge, but at Prestige, our compassionate team is dedicated to providing you with the support you need to transition home successfully.

As you return home to your independent life, it is also important to remember to utilize your own personal support team to help you adjust to your everyday life. You do not have to go through your recovery journey alone, seek help from your loved ones if you are feeling alone or have any lingering concerns about your health.

At Prestige, we work with both you and your loved ones throughout your entire rehabilitation and discharge to ensure you have the support you need to continue your recovery after you leave our center.

Ensure Your Home is Safe from Fall Hazards

Although you are continuing your recovery at home after a short-term rehabilitation stay, it is crucial to be cautious of the hazards inside your home that could impact the progress you have made to improve your overall mobility. Consider keeping your home safe and free of any trip hazards to prevent a fall that could lead to a rehospitalization. This may include adjusting your lighting to see better during the night, removing articles of clothing, clutter, and electronic cords from the floor, and moving any furniture that could impact your ability to use your assistive devices, such as a walker, wheelchair, or cane.

Living a Healthy, Independent Life

At Prestige Care, we know the importance of living a healthy and active life and our clinical teams are dedicated to supporting each patient throughout their entire recovery journey. Our goal is to help each patient successfully transition back to their independent life after an unplanned hospitalization with the resources and care they need to manage and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Contact the center closest to you to find out more about the care and services we offer at our Prestige Skilled Nursing and Post-Acute Rehabilitation Centers.