A physical therapist helps an older adult do yoga exercises
A physical therapist helps an older adult do yoga exercises

The Difference Between Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehabilitation and Therapy for Seniors

If you or your loved one has had a stroke, serious illness, major injury, or other medical issue like a broken bone or joint replacement surgery, your doctor may suggest inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation after you leave the hospital. But what’s the difference between inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation? When it comes to choosing inpatient vs. outpatient rehabilitation for seniors, which is your best option?

Inpatient rehabilitation.

This type of therapy is typically reserved for complex rehabilitative needs, such as a serious injury or a medically complex case where more intensive therapy treatments from an interdisciplinary team are required. It may also be suggested if you’re living alone or being at home by yourself after a medical event isn’t safe or practical.

If you choose inpatient vs. outpatient rehabilitation, plan to stay overnight for a period of time. At an inpatient center — like McLean Health Center — you’ll enjoy a relaxing and healing environment with amenities like a specially designed rehabilitation gym and chef-prepared meals. To keep our staff and residents safe during this unprecedented time, we’re currently following all recommended COVID-19 protocols.

At an inpatient rehabilitation center, you’ll have more one-on-one time with your physical therapists, so your progress will be closely monitored. Choosing inpatient care will also allow you to focus 100% on your physical therapy without distractions. Some typical conditions your doctor may suggest inpatient rehabilitation for include:

  • Fracture or broken hip
  • Joint injury or replacement
  • Aneurysm
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Neurological conditions
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis of the spine and other joints/li>
  • Tumor/Cancer
  • Nerve impingement

Outpatient rehabilitation.

Outpatient clinics are ideal if you’re looking to improve your daily mobility and quality of life — but are independent enough to live at home. Outpatient therapy tends to focus on helping patients restore function following an injury, so you can get back to your normal activities.

However, one major difference between inpatient and outpatient therapy is the amount of time you get to spend with your physical therapist. Plus, inpatient therapy gives you access to services and amenities like housekeeping and chef-prepared meals between your therapy sessions. This may enable you to produce results quicker.

If your doctor recommends outpatient therapy for your senior rehabilitation, it’s important to know that you’ll still work with the same trained staff as inpatient residents do. But the progress you make, depends on how much work you put in at home.

Researching your options.

If you’re trying to decide between inpatient vs. outpatient physical therapy, we’d be happy to discuss your options in our highly rated McLean Health Center with you. You can even receive our high-quality care right at home through McLean Home Care.