Have you recently experienced a fall or joint injury? Following a hospitalization for an injury or surgery, your mobility may be impacted, and your healthcare team may suggest continuing your recovery at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), or post-acute care.
At Prestige Care, we know limited mobility can impact a person’s quality of life and may prevent them from doing the things they love. That is why we are dedicated to working with each patient to ensure they are receiving the comprehensive care they need to improve their functional skills and return to their independent lives at home.
Your personalized care plan during your stay at a skilled nursing center can help increase your mobility and strength, but there are also other steps you can take to help improve your mobility to ensure a successful recovery and reduce the risk of another injury.
Gait Training Exercises
During your stay at a skilled nursing center, your experienced therapy team will provide you with ongoing assessments to help determine your functional mobility skills, evaluate your exercise capacity, and measure lower extremity strength.
Depending on your evaluations, your therapy team may suggest gait training exercises as part of your physical therapy program. Gait training is intended to help you regain your mobility, increase muscle strength, and improve your balance through repetitive movement, which can help reduce your risk of experiencing another injury such as a fall. Some examples of gait training exercises include practicing sitting down and standing up, walking on the treadmill, and working on lifting your legs without assistance.
At Prestige, your therapy team will work with you every step of the way to ensure you are able to do the exercises comfortably and safely and may even suggest at-home exercises upon your discharge. Regardless of where you are in your rehabilitation journey, it is important to consider continuing these exercises, either with your therapy team or with your loved ones at home.
While it is critical to continue physical therapy exercises during your rehabilitation, it is also important to keep your body moving throughout the day, even if only for a few minutes at a time. In fact, studies have shown that inactivity can significantly impact your ability to continue improving your quality of life and increase your mobility.
Daily movement can help retrain your muscles to achieve activities of daily living (ADLs) and also contributes to your overall recovery as you are regaining your independence. Although your mobility may be limited, your post-acute clinical team is dedicated to keeping you moving throughout the day during your stay and can provide you with some helpful tips on how you can continue light movement once you return home. This may include light walking with an assistive device, simple aquatic exercises, and practicing daily tasks.
Whether you are recovering at a skilled nursing center or have returned home to your independent life, it is important to continue keeping your body active to prevent future complications and reduce the risk of a rehospitalization.
Maintain a Protein-Rich Diet
If you are receiving post-acute care after a hospitalization, it is important to not only focus on improving your physical health, but also increasing your nutritional health. Maintaining a nutrient-rich diet can help reduce the risk of hospital readmission and contribute to improving your muscle function and energy levels so you can achieve a successful recovery.
After an injury or surgery, patients may be experiencing muscle loss, reduced stability, and a lack of vitamins that are necessary for a successful recovery. This can especially impact those who are experiencing limited mobility, so it is critical to integrate protein into your diet. Studies have shown that protein consumption is a key factor in improving muscle loss and strength and can contribute to a more rapid overall recovery in addition to a physical rehabilitation program.
During your stay at a Prestige skilled nursing center, your dietary team will work with you to ensure you are receiving the appropriate amount of protein you need to improve your functional strength and mobility. We will also provide you with the resources you need upon discharge to continue following a protein-rich meal plan at home in order to prevent additional muscle loss and reduce your risk of injury.
Use Assistive Devices
If you are continuing your recovery at a skilled nursing center, you may be required to learn how to use an assistive device if you are experiencing mobility limitations. This may include the use of a wheelchair, walker, cane, crutches, or handrails. An assistive device not only helps boost your stability but can also contribute to fall prevention and reduce the risk of a re-hospitalization.
An assistive device can help patients feel supported and safe as they are navigating around their skilled nursing center or at home. They can also help improve a person’s quality of life and independence by allowing them to remain active in everyday activities with their loved ones without the fear of losing their stability.
At Prestige Care, our therapists assist patients in getting properly fitted for an assistive device and provide the appropriate tools and education on how to properly use it prior to your discharge. We also ensure family members have the resources they need to help support their loved one and provide guidance once they return home.
Our team of healthcare professionals will work with you during your entire rehabilitation journey to ensure you are receiving the care you need to regain your mobility and return to your active, independent lifestyle.