Question:My 87-year old mother fell and broke her hip. She had surgery and she's still in the hospital. The staff is talking about sending her to rehab. How is this decided?
When it comes to rehab after hip fracture, each hospital has its own algorithm or formula for decision-making. Some of this is based on what services are available. Does the hospital have a rehab unit? Would the patient have to be transferred? How far? Health care coverage (insurance or Medicare) is a factor.
The patient's status is also very important. Patients with have advanced dementia may not be suitable for rehab. The same is true for someone who was wheelchair bound, weak, and deconditioned before the surgery.
Age is a factor but doesn't limit patients from receiving services that can help them. For example, studies show patients 85 years old and older are less likely to have a good outcome. But this doesn't mean that someone in this age range can't do very well.
It may be best to talk with the hospital social worker assigned to your mother's case. Find out how they make this decision. The family and family support is a very important part of the discharge planning.Devora Lieberman, MD et al. Inpatient Rehabilitation Outcome After Hip Fracture Surgery in Elderly Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study of 946 Patients. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. February 206. Vol. 87. No. 2. Pp. 167-171.
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