Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering if treatment at a HealthSouth hospital is right for you? We may have already answered your questions. Search our Frequently Asked Questions database by using the tool below. If you don't find the answer, please submit it to our experts and we will get back you as quickly as possible.

Can rehabilitation help control pain?

Yes. Therapy can help build strength and relieve pain. For instance, by making leg muscles stronger, an injured knee doesn’t have to work as hard when walking or climbing stairs. This helps reduce pain and chances for further injury to the knee. Rehabilitation can also include medications as part of therapy to control pain for encouraged healing.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

Can rehabilitation help someone recover from a broken hip?

Yes. In fact, HealthSouth offers a “Hip and Healthy” program to patients with broken hips. HealthSouth uses proven therapy techniques and technology to help improve hip movement, while also helping patients control pain. The goals of the program are to:

  • Get the patient walking without help
  • Assist with balance and coordination
  • Prevent future falls
  • Strengthen muscles
  • Build endurance
  • Control pain
  • Provide ways to easily complete everyday tasks

Click here to get more information on recovering from a hip fracture.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

Can rehabilitation help someone who's had a stroke?

Yes, depending on the severity of the stroke and where the brain is affected, rehabilitation can help a person overcome many of stroke’s side effects, like slurred speech and limited arm movement.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

Can rehabilitation help with Parkinson's symptoms?

HealthSouth’s Parkinson’s program gives patients a chance to reach their highest level of independence. The program teaches patients how to live with the disease, improving physical abilities and independence. This includes:

• Looking at each patient’s strengths and weaknesses
• Teaching disease management skills
• Building patient endurance and adaptation techniques
• Improving movement, communication and thinking
• Providing patient, family and caregiver education
• Strengthening the patient’s self-image
• Maintaining care that focuses on independence and safety

Last Updated: 09-02-2014

Can you prevent a stroke?

There are steps you can take to help prevent stroke:

  • Know your blood pressure. If it is high, get treatment.
  • If you are a diabetic, see your doctor regularly and take care of it.
  • If you have high cholesterol, treat it with diet, exercise and possibly medication if your doctor prescribes.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Exercise.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Control your weight.
  • Find out if you have an abnormal heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • If you experience any stroke warning signs, seek immediate help.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

Does a physician have to refer me?

Yes. A physician or discharge planner must refer you for HealthSouth Hospital admission. This allows us to know all of your medical issues and medications so we can make the best rehabilitation plan for you. The admission’s office can answer any questions you have about referrals, admission and insurance.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

Do you have ambulators for stroke patients to learn to walk?

HealthSouth hospitals do offer the latest technologies to help patients achieve the best possible outcome. One of our technologies is the AutoAmbulator, which does help stroke patients with gait training. Please see our video in the technology section of our website.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

Do you have to be of a certain age?

HealthSouth strives to meet the needs of all patients, regardless of age, however not all of our hospitals have pediatric programs. Please contact the HealthSouth hospital near you to check specific program offerings.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

How can rehabilitation help a brain injury patient?

Brain injury rehabilitation is challenging for the patient and the family. To get started, HealthSouth evaluates the patient, forming a rehab program with the following goals:

  • Provide rehabilitation based on patient and family needs
  • Return the patient to maximum level of living
  • Educate the family and patient on brain injury
  • Provide support now and later
  • Provide future visits and referrals to other helpful resource

For more information on rehabilitation following brain injury click here.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

How can rehabilitation help multiple trauma patients?

Multi-trauma conditions and injuries require special care for the best therapy results. At HealthSouth, a full rehabilitation team creates a program focused on the patient’s specific needs. This plan follows the patient from the hospital, to home, to outpatient therapy and back to the community for a full continuum of rehabilitative care. The benefits of this approach include:

• Availability of on-site medical director
• Personalized therapy for more targeted results
• Greater family involvement and education
• Use of advanced technology

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

How can rehabilitation help spinal cord injury patients?

Spinal cord injuries need special care for the best therapy results. At HealthSouth, a full rehabilitation team creates a program focused on the patient’s specific needs. This plan follows the patient from the hospital, to outpatient therapy and back to the community for total rehab care. The benefits of this approach include:

  • Availability of on-site medical director
  • Personalized therapy for more targeted results
  • Improved referral process
  • Greater family involvement and education
  • Better usage of advanced technology

For more information on recovery following spinal cord injury click here.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

How do you arrange a transfer from another hospital?

Transfer patients usually come to HealthSouth following a stay in an acute care hospital. However, if for some reason you are not referred to HealthSouth for rehabilitation, you can ask to be transferred to us.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

How is my treatment plan decided?

HealthSouth uses a team approach for patient therapy. The following specialists are on each patient’s team:

  • Physiatrist – supervises the rehabilitation team
  • Case manager – works with patient and family to schedule admission, rehab team meetings, referrals and insurance
  • Neuropsychologist – helps patients and families adjust to sudden disability
  • Physical therapist – assists in increasing patient’s physical mobility
  • Occupational therapist – assists patient in reaching independence in daily activities
  • Speech pathologist – resolves speech issues through therapy and specialized treatments
  • Respiratory therapist –works with higher need patients and can assist patients care for the lungs and respiratory system

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

How long can a patient stay?

The average length of stay at a HealthSouth hospital is 14 days. However, this varies depending on the patient and the extent of their treatment and progress toward recovery.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

How long does stroke rehab take?

Rehabilitation can help retrain the brain following stroke, but the length of time and the ability of the body to recover is different from person to person. This largely depends on the type of stroke, the part of the brain that’s affected, and how many brain cells die (also known as the “infarction.”) Whether the infarction is large or small does not matter as much as what part of the brain is affected. For example, if the brain tissue dies in the interior of the brain, it can cause paralysis on one side of the body. If it is in the occipital lobe area, it can affect vision.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

If I need to come back for more rehabilitation, can I?

Yes, in fact it is not uncommon for someone who has gone through rehabilitation to return home and over time experience some decline. If this is the case, please contact the HealthSouth hospital nearest you and a liaison can do a home evaluation to see if additional rehabilitation can help. In addition, some of our locations offer home health services.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

I have been told I need an amputation can HealthSouth help?

HealthSouth can help patients before, during and after an amputation. Our amputee rehabilitation program is specialized to fit a patient’s specific needs. The program includes:

  • Before-surgery training for artificial limbs (prosthetics)
  • Walking assistance
  • Skin care
  • Prosthetic care
  • Lessons for adapting to everyday activities, like dressing and cooking
  • Patient and family education
  • Confidence building

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

My doctor has recommended joint replacement surgery to help with my arthritis, should I talk to HealthSouth before my surgery?

Yes. Research shows that physical therapy and strengthening and conditioning exercises prior to surgery help aid in a more speedy recovery. Check with your local HealthSouth hospital to see what options would be best for you depending on the type of surgery you are having.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

What are the stroke warning signs?

Call 911 immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms.

  • Look for facial asymmetry: Ask the person to smile and look for unevenness in features – a facial “droop” or a lopsided smile – indicating weakness on one side of the body.
  • Look for arm drift: Have the person raise both arms straight out in front of them and look for one arm to drift down indicating a weakness on that side of the body.
  • Listen to speech:  Ask the person to repeat something like, “The grass is green.”  Look for slurred, garbled or absent speech or confusion.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

What are visiting hours?

Visiting hours at each hospital may vary, but generally visitors are welcome daily from Noon - 8 p.m. Please remind family and friends that you will be in the gym for your therapy for a good part of the day Monday - Friday.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

What is inpatient rehabilitation?

When a patient is recovering from an illness or an injury and needs around-the-clock nursing care and a daily rehabilitation treatment program, he/she is referred to inpatient rehabilitation. At a HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, a patient stays overnight for a few nights, up to 14 days.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

What is the closet HealthSouth location to me?

HealthSouth has locations in 28 states including Puerto Rico. To find the HealthSouth location nearest you visit Find A Location.

Last Updated: 04-27-2015

What personal supplies does the patient need to bring

Patients should bring the following items:

  • Shirts/blouses with button fronts or pullovers that fit easily over the head
  • Comfortable slacks, sweatpants or a sweat suit
  • Athletic shoes with good support
  • Undergarments
  • Pajamas or gown, robe, slippers
  • Toiletry articles such as toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, brush, deodorant, etc.
  • Any corrective devices, such as dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc.
  • Any custom devices, such as splints or braces.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

Will insurance pay for my rehabilitation?

Most rehabilitation is covered by Medicare insurance or a person’s private insurance, and the coverage amount varies from state to state. HealthSouth admissions can walk you through the insurance process.

Last Updated: 12-13-2013

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"I never feel that my job is boring. I work in a great team-first atmosphere, and I get to help people regain their independence.”

Marj Dawkins, RN, CRRN
Registered Nurse
HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota