From your first therapy session to your last check-in, the goal of inpatient rehab is to help people with serious medical conditions like stroke, heart failure, joint replacement or serious injury recover faster, as fully as possible.

The rehab team will guide you throughout your stay, but if you've never been in an inpatient rehabilitation program, you probably want to know what your stay will be like. Here's what you can expect during a typical day.

What Is Inpatient Rehab Like Here’s a Typical Day 600

When you first arrive, the care team will look at how you do with activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, and walking or wheelchair usage, as well as ask about your personal goals. This information will be used to develop a treatment plan specifically for you. The team will check again when you leave to measure your progress and help decide what help you will need when you go home.


You may not have thought about your morning routine in the past, but as you recover, day-to-day tasks such as taking a shower or getting dressed may be challenging. Each morning, a nurse or occupational therapist will help with these and other daily tasks, as well as provide training and support so you can learn to do as much as possible by yourself.

These personal tasks are known as activities of daily living or "ADLs," and include bathing, dressing and self-feeding. Learning how to manage ADLs is a critical step in regaining your independence.

A nurse will help you with medications. Once you're ready for the day, you'll have breakfast before your morning therapy sessions. This typically includes two sessions, with a combination of physical, occupational and/or speech therapies. Therapy can involve strength training, techniques for managing ADLs and/or memory training. There are breaks between the sessions and as needed during them.


The lunch break begins around noon. Relax and enjoy your meal to help you recover from the morning session and fuel up for the afternoon. Therapists will work with those who need help with swallowing or eating, or require training for an adaptive device.


After your lunch break you will continue with therapy sessions. As with the morning sessions, you'll have a combination of therapies and opportunities to take a break between or during sessions, as needed. If you need to use a cane, walker or wheelchair, your therapy sessions would help you adjust to and use your assistive device.


Your day concludes with dinner and time to spend with your family or other visitors. Therapy is over for the day, and it's time to relax. Nursing staff will help you get ready for the night and reinforce what was learned in therapy so that your journey to greater independence continues after therapy has ended.


Sleep refreshes your mind and body and your only "task" is to get the sleep you need to be ready for the next day. But, if you do need assistance during the night, use the call light in your room and a nurse will come and help you.

If you think inpatient rehab could help you or a loved one, call 1.866.KINDRED to speak with a Registered Nurse who can review your health over the phone and determine if you meet the requirement s for care in one of our facilities. Or, find a location near you.

By Blair Klayko