You’ve had a stroke or other debilitating injury or illness. You need therapy. And you would like to return home as quickly and as independently as possible.

Most likely, you need inpatient rehabilitation.

If this describes you (or a friend or family member), please read on. Knowing more about inpatient rehabilitation can help ease any concerns and speed your recovery journey.

What You Can Expect

Whether the illness or injury was unexpected, or something you’ve been living with for an extended period of time, you can be assured that your inpatient rehabilitation team will be committed to helping you regain as much independence as possible so you can get back to enjoying everyday life. 

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During the initial phase of your treatment, you may be asked to participate in a series of evaluations. It is critical that the provider perform a complete assessment because your treatment program will be based on the needs that are identified. In the case of Kindred’s inpatient rehabilitation services, we will need your best efforts during all activities and will keep you informed on how we think you’re progressing.

Most patients will receive a minimum of three hours of therapy each day, at least five days a week. Therapy may take place in both individual and group treatment settings, and sessions will be scheduled for various times throughout the day. The typical stay in an inpatient rehabilitation setting is 10-14 days.

Prior to your discharge, your rehab team will meet with you and your family to discuss any services or equipment you may need after you leave the hospital. We may even schedule a home visit to identify any potential hazards or necessary modifications. You will receive a follow-up call about two weeks after discharge and again at three months to discuss your concerns and to check on your progress.

About Your Rehab Team

You will be surrounded by a group of highly-trained professionals who care about you and are ready to provide the intensive care you need. We will work as a team to help you prepare for life outside of the hospital. We can’t tell you that this will be an easy road. It is work, but it may be the most important work of your life.

The Medical Director is a physician specially trained in rehabilitation who will coordinate your overall treatment program and oversee the efforts of the rehab team. In inpatient rehab, you will have daily access to a physician.

The Rehabilitation Nurses will give you around-the-clock personal care and are a good resource for any questions you or your family may have about your recovery.

Physical Therapists will teach you exercises that may help improve your balance, strength and mobility. Movement is the focus of physical therapy. If necessary, physical therapists also will instruct on safe and correct use of mobility devices (such as walkers and canes, braces and artificial limbs), safe transfers from the bed to a chair or toilet as well as using stairs and a wheelchair if applicable. Physical therapists also work with patients to decrease pain and improve strength, endurance, balance and range of motion. Your therapist will inquire about your lifestyle and regular activities and restore as much movement as possible to get you back to your routine and hobbies.

Occupational Therapists help patients become more independent by teaching new ways to perform life tasks, including bathing, dressing, eating, preparing food or simply brushing one’s hair. The goal is to help you improve the ways you perform living skills after illness, injury or surgery. Occupational therapists may train you in the use of adaptive equipment that will help you better perform these daily activities. Occupational therapists are also responsible for performing home safety evaluations to ensure maximum safety and functionality after discharge when deemed necessary.

Speech-Language Pathologists, also known as speech therapists, will assess and treat your communication, memory, hearing, problem solving and reasoning skills. The focus of speech therapy is improving speech/language expression, comprehension and oral motor skills for accurate speech production and safe eating. Speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat any problems with swallowing and eating.

A Case Manager, Social Worker and/or Discharge Planner  will work together to help you find the services you need, create plans for your treatment and recovery, and help you complete a safe transition from the inpatient therapy program to home.

Features of Treatment in Inpatient Rehab

  • Daily accessible physician specially trained in rehab
  • Low nurse-to-patient ratio of approximately six to seven patients per nurse
  • Intensive therapy with short lengths of stay

The Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting

Most inpatient rehabilitation settings are either a unit within a hospital, or a standalone rehabilitation hospital facility. At a Kindred setting, you are more likely to have a private room, but in some facilities rooms can be semi-private. All rooms typically feature televisions, cable, wifi, bathrooms and guest chairs.

Physical therapy typically takes place in a gym setting that features state of the art therapy equipment. Most settings also offer multipurpose rooms and outdoor areas where patients can meet with family or socialize with each other. Most also include dining rooms and support groups for specific illnesses.

What You Should Bring

You will need a week’s supply of comfortable clothing, to include:

  • Loose-fitting shirts or blouses
  • Loose-fitting pants or shorts
  • Sturdy, low-heeled shoes or sneakers
  • Undergarments/socks
  • Nightgown or pajamas
  • Robe
  • Sweater

Remember to bring all necessary personal items such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, cosmetics and toiletries.

Family Involvement

We encourage family members to be involved in your treatment by providing moral support and by observing therapy sessions. We may ask to have a conference with your family to talk about your goals, the progress you’ve made and your plans for discharge.

Additional Information

Kindred’s more than 120 inpatient rehab programs across the country accept most major health insurance carriers, including Medicare. In some cases, payment may be available through workers’ compensation. The hospital’s billing department can help you verify coverage. To find a Kindred inpatient rehabilitation setting near you, visit, click the “inpatient rehabilitation hospitals” box and enter your city and state.

The rehab staff will provide more detailed information on these and other issues. Please let us know if you have questions.

By Michael Ogburn