Acute vs. Subacute Differences

Acute Rehabilitation

Acute rehabilitation is for individuals who need an intensive, multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. Patients who have had traumatic injuries, stroke or suffer a debilitating disease can benefit from acute rehabilitation, as can patients who have had certain types of surgery, such as amputation. In an acute rehabilitation program, patients receive physical, occupational and speech therapy as needed. A physician who is trained in rehabilitation manages each patient’s care. Patients are seen by their attending physician every day.

In an acute rehabilitation setting, a patient is expected to make significant functional gains and medical improvements within a reasonable time frame. Patients receive at least three hours of therapy per day for up to five days a week. One-to-one therapy and group therapy sessions are both provided, depending on the needs of the individual. Additional services, such as respiratory therapy, are available for patients as well.

Subacute Rehabilitation

Subacute rehabilitation is less intense than acute rehabilitation. Patients in a subacute facility generally only receive one or two hours of therapy per day and it is usually a combination of physical, occupational and speech therapy. Patients are seen by their attending physician monthly.

The average length of stay at a subacute facility is generally longer than at an acute rehabilitation center. For patients who are not appropriate for acute rehabilitation at Glancy Rehabilitation Center, Northside can offer referral to other nearby skilled nursing and long-term care facilities that provide subacute rehabilitation services.

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