Acute Rehabilitation Unit

Specialized Area to Treat General Rehabilitation Patients

Loyola Medicine’s acute rehabilitation unit is a specialized area offering high-intensity inpatient rehabilitation care. The unit has 32 private rooms on the fifth floor of Loyola University Medical Center. Each room has a wheelchair-accessible bathroom and is designed especially for rehabilitation patients. Your doctor will refer you to the unit if you meet specific requirements for intense rehabilitation therapy, including:

  • Need two of three types of therapy (physical, occupational and/or speech)
  • Need 24-hour physician and nursing services
  • Are able to participate in three hours of therapy per day

Loyola’s acute rehabilitation unit treats patients in need of general rehabilitation or who are recovering from a wide range of conditions, including:

Some patients face complications from a medical procedure or a long hospital stay. Patients in Loyola's rehabilitation unit benefit from specialized, certified care that is proven to produce more favorable results than most acute rehabilitation units. You can choose Loyola with confidence. Learn more about Loyola’s acute rehabilitation unit patient care outcomes.

Integrated Acute Rehabilitation Team for Patient Treatment and Support

Your acute rehabilitation team is led by a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and may also include:

  • Dietitians — Your dietitian will evaluate your nutritional needs and eating difficulties to develop a plan that ensures proper nutrition during rehabilitation and after discharge from the hospital.
  • Neuropsychologists — Neuropsychologists evaluate and treat patients who have brain injuries that result in problems with memory, behavior or mood.
  • Occupational therapists — Our occupational therapists evaluate patients and provide therapy services focused on tasks and movements associated with daily living. Learn more about occupational therapy.
  • Patient-care rehabilitation technicians — These caregivers help patients accomplish personal tasks, such as eating, bathing and dressing, which may be difficult to do on their own.
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians — These doctors, also known as physiatrists, evaluate the cognitive, physical, recreational, social, vocational and occupational function of impaired patients. They diagnose problems and develop rehabilitation treatment programs that help restore lost function. Learn more about physical medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Physical therapists — Loyola’s physical therapists provide evaluation, rehabilitation and treatment for a variety of conditions that affect overall movement and the ability to walk. Learn more about physical therapy.
  • Recreational therapists — These specialists provide treatment, education and recreation services to help patients develop and use their leisure time in ways that enhance their health, independence and well-being.
  • Registered nurses — Loyola’s skilled nurses help your team plan, coordinate and manage treatment. They provide patients and families with the nursing care, education and support they need to set and reach goals for achieving their highest level of functioning.
  • Social workers — Our compassionate social workers help patients and families access the resources they need during treatment and plan their discharge from the hospital to home or the next level of care. Learn more about social work services.
  • Speech and language pathologists — These specialists evaluate and provide therapy services to patients who have difficulties with communicating, cognitive function and swallowing. Learn more about speech and language therapy.

You will find your rehabilitation team encouraging, supportive and dedicated to making your stay as pleasant as possible. We expect you, as a patient, to be focused on your goals, attend all therapy sessions and practice your therapy exercises and activities with the nursing staff.

What to Expect at the Acute Rehabilitation Unit

Loyola’s acute rehabilitation team will assist, encourage and support you and your family, in addition to help plan any care you may need after discharge.

Your Goals: Milestones for becoming more independent

  • Move safely by either walking or using a wheelchair.
  • Relearn activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, toileting and eating, to the greatest extent that your condition allows.
  • Learn how to eat safely if your swallowing has been affected.
  • Learn effective ways to communicate and solve problems.

Our Expectations: Daily activities that bring improvement

  • Participate in therapy three hours per day, five days per week.
  • Get dressed in street clothes every day and eat all meals sitting up in a chair.
  • Learn about exercise programs you will be using at home.
  • Learn any treatments you will need to do at home, including wound care, medication administration, blood glucose testing, insulin injections or use of special equipment.
  • Participate in training sessions with your family or caregiver if you will need assistance at home.

Your Family or Caregivers: Welcomed members of the team

We invite family members and caregivers who will be helping you at home to come to therapy sessions. They will have the opportunity to encourage you and learn about your therapies, treatments and medications.

Your Safety: Avoiding falls

During rehabilitation, patients can be at risk of falling. Through our “Be Safe Fall Prevention Program”, we work with patients and families to surround them with guidelines and extra care that helps protect against falls. Some elements of the program include:

  • Patients wear shoes or no-skid slippers at all times.
  • Our staff will make sure your call light is within reach at all times and your bathroom light is left on all night.
  • For your safety, a bed alarm may used that will beep loudly to let us know if you are trying to get out of bed by yourself.
  • Families are encouraged not to help you get in or out of bed unless they have been trained by the rehabilitation staff or have received approval by the physical therapist.

Your Discharge: Planning ahead

Your rehabilitation team will set goals and monitor your progress. Your case manager or social worker will explain your discharge plan. It will ensure that you get the help you need after you leave Loyola’s acute rehabilitation unit.

Discharge doesn’t mean the end of therapy. Most patients need weeks or months of therapy in their home via home care, at an outpatient center or day rehabilitation, or in a skilled nursing facility. Overall, 72 percent of patients leaving our unit go home after their stay with us.

Common Questions About the Acute Rehabilitation Unit

How do I know if I need to go into the acute rehabilitation unit? Your doctor will refer you to the unit if you need two of three types of therapy (physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy), require 24-hour hospital care or are able to participate in three hours of therapy per day.

How is the unit different from the rest of the hospital? The unit is a separate section on the fifth floor of the hospital that has 32 private rooms with wheelchair-accessible bathrooms. The staff and facility are dedicated to acute rehabilitation care. Our patients and clinicians use the hospital’s diagnostic, laboratory, medical and pharmacy services. Tests or procedures are completed onsite, and results are available within a day or two. Your primary Loyola doctor and specialists can visit you and will be in continual contact with your rehabilitation team.

What should I expect to accomplish in the acute rehabilitation unit? You should gain independence in caring for yourself by being able to get around by walking or using a wheelchair; perform dressing, bathing, toileting and other activities of daily living; eat and swallow effectively and safely; and be able to communicate and solve problems. The level of independence gained during your stay will depend on your condition. Your rehabilitation team will help plan for any additional assistance you may need when you are discharged.

Will I go home when I am discharged? It depends on your condition and progress. About 72 percent of Loyola’s acute rehabilitation patients go home, 14 percent receive additional care in our unit, 13 percent go to a skilled nursing facility and one percent goes to nursing homes, assisted-living communities or similar places.

What if I need help when I’m discharged? Everyone needs some help after acute rehabilitation. The amount of help you need will depend on your condition, restrictions prescribed by your doctor and safety considerations. Your case manager or social worker will help arrange for the specific type of assistance you need.

Will therapy end when I’m discharged? Rehabilitation is an ongoing process that can take weeks or months. If you’re able to leave your home, you may go to outpatient therapy or day rehabilitation. If you have difficulty leaving home, you may receive home care therapy and nursing visits one to three times per week. If you go into additional inpatient care, you will receive therapy there.

Will my health insurance cover inpatient rehabilitation services? Your private health insurance will review your records and must approve your admission to the rehabilitation unit before covering your care. Your rehabilitation team will review the details of your coverage and arrange for your transfer to us when admission is approved. Medicare and Medicaid cover inpatient rehabilitation under the same benefits they provide for any other hospital stay.

Are home care services covered by health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid? In general, they cover only skilled services provided by a healthcare professional, such as a registered nurse visit or visits by a physical, occupational or speech/language pathologist one to three times a week. Services such as caregiving, housekeeping and transportation are not covered.