Who needs to go to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility?

One or more of the following factors may mean you no longer need the amount of care provided in the hospital, but you need more care than you and your loved ones can manage at home.

Before you can go home from the hospital, you must be able to:

• Safely use your cane, walker, or crutches

• Get in and out of a chair or bed without needing much help

• Walk around enough that you will be able to safely move between your sleeping area, your bathroom, and your kitchen

• Go up and down stairs, if there is no other way to avoid them in your home

Other factors may also prevent you from going directly home from the hospital,such as:

• Not enough help at home

• Because of where you live, you need to be stronger or more  mobile before going home

• Medical problems — such as diabetes, lung problems, and heart problems — that are not well controlled

• Medicines that cannot safely be given at home

• Surgical wounds that need frequent care

Common medical problems that often lead to skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility care include:

• Joint replacement surgery, such as for the knees, hips, or shoulders

• Long stays in the hospital for any medical problem

• Stroke or other brain injury

If you can, plan ahead and learn how to choose the best facility

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