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When someone suffers from a stroke, slip and fall accident, severe burn, or other major illness of accidental injury, the ER and hospital are the immediate level of care they require.

But after a patient is ready to be released from the hospital, there are two additional stages of recovery: post-acute care and long-term care.

What Is Post-acute Care?

Basically, post-acute care refers to inpatient rehabilitation. An inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) will provide an intensive rehab program custom-designed for each recovery patient.

Skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, wound care, burn recovery, post-stroke care, amputation care, pulmonary rehabilitation, and hip replacement therapy are common examples of post-acute care.

Inpatient rehabilitation helps patients to transition from hospital to home through an intermediate location. IRFs thus provide a much-needed in-between step, where heading straight home from the hospital would be impractical or even dangerous. 

How long does post-acute care continue? That varies greatly from patient to patient. It may be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or even continue several years. Sometimes, post-acute type care is long term or permanent. It just depends on the precise needs of the person being cared for.

What Is Long-term Care?

Long term care often takes place at home, but it can occur in a skilled nursing facility as well. Assisted living services like filling pill boxes, toileting and dressing, assisting with cooking and cleaning, running errands, and the like form the core of what is considered traditional long term care.

Nursing homes are traditionally associated with long term care for patients, while rehabilitation centers are associated with rehabilitation. But these lines have become somewhat “blurred” in recent years as the same facility may now offer both post-acute and long term care as well as excellent living quarters.

The bottom line to remember is that both the post-acute and long-term stages of recovery are important and can be very different from person to person. Don’t settle for a “cookie cutter” approach for either short-term or long-term care for your loved one – there are caring personnel at top-tier facilities that can fully customize each step of the recovery process for every patient.

For more information on finding excellence in inpatient rehabilitation in the Amarillo Area, or to speak with a representative about finding the best possible care for yourself or for a loved one, contact Arbors Amarillo today.