Questions to Ask at a Senior Rehab Care Conference

Doctor talks to patient and hands are shown

When someone is staying at an inpatient rehab center, it’s natural for their loved ones to want to be kept in the loop and informed of their parent’s or loved one’s progress. Family communication at a physical therapy center is a vital part of the healing process. A good rehab center will make sure it’s easy for you to remain involved.

One of the ways this is accomplished is through a care conference. This is an opportunity for a patient and their loved ones to talk with the care team about the care plan and any questions they might have.


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What Is a Patient Care Conference?

A patient care conference is a scheduled meeting between a patient in a hospital, rehabilitation center or assisted living community and their care team. Family members are welcome to join the care conferences—in fact, it’s encouraged whenever possible.

For most senior rehab and physical therapy centers, a care conference typically comes after someone is admitted. At MacIntosh, for example, we arrange a care conference with the person receiving care, their loved ones and our key care team members after the admission process is complete.

As far as care team members go, you can expect to see staff members such as a therapy manager, social worker and nurse unit manager at a care conference. Don’t be concerned if you don’t see your parent’s physician at the conference—it’s not standard for them to be included. The therapy team will be able to answer any questions you may have.

During the care conference, the plan of care is reviewed and therapy goals are discussed. You’ll also go over the therapy schedule and begin to talk about discharge plans, since most rehab patients have an average stay of around twelve days (however, it could be shorter or longer depending on their condition). You’ll also have a chance to ask any questions you might have about things such as insurance coverage, therapy techniques and more.

Questions to Ask at a Senior Rehab Patient Care Conference

You’ll likely have some questions already in mind about your parent’s rehab plan. But if you’re wondering where to even begin with your questions, here are a few ideas:

  • What types of therapy does my parent need?
  • What are your COVID-19 Protocols?
  • What is their rehab schedule going to look like?
  • What will they be doing when they aren’t in therapy?
  • How are medications handled?
  • Who is the best person to contact if I have any concerns or questions during their stay?
  • What is your current visitation policy?
  • Can you accommodate their dietary restrictions?
  • How will the transition home be handled?
  • After my parent is home, will they need any additional care?

Tip: As the care conference draws near, it might be a good idea to jot down any questions you have so you don’t forget.

Senior Rehab Patient Care Conference Format

So, now that you have your questions prepared, what can you expect when you go to a care conference? Every conference is different but in general, the meeting follows a certain structure.

First, you’ll be introduced to the care team members (if you haven’t already met). If you have any questions about someone’s role, don’t be shy! Just ask and they can explain what they do and how they’ll be working with your parent.

During the conference, you’ll likely go over your parent’s condition to get the care team’s professional opinion. Then, they’ll go over the care plan with you and your parent. This is an excellent time to ask any questions you might have, both about the plan and the community in general. With everyone in the same room, it’s easy to get all your questions answered so everybody’s on the same page.

That’s the point of a care conference—to ensure both you and your parent are fully informed and don’t have any lingering questions. Your input and your parent’s needs are important. The physical therapy team wants to make sure that everyone’s working toward the same goals and that each person is comfortable with the plan.

For more information on how staff to family communication works throughout the rehab process, read our blog, How is Patient and Family Communication Handled in Rehab? Our expert will walk you through what you can expect during pre-admission, admission, rehab, discharge and post-discharge.