Older adults and their families often wonder: Where’s the best place to recover after a hip or knee replacement — at home or in a rehabilitation facility?
Increasingly, the answer appears to be home if the procedure is elective, friends and family are available to help and someone doesn’t have serious conditions that could lead to complications.
This trend is likely to accelerate as evidence mounts that recuperating at home is a safe alternative and as hospitals alter medical practices in response to changing Medicare policies.
The newest data comes from a March study in JAMA Internal Medicine of 17 million Medicare hospitalizations of people from 2010 to 2016. All the patients were older adults and went home or to a skilled nursing facility after a medical procedure or a serious illness. Knee and hip replacements were the most common reason for these hospitalizations.
People who were sent home with home health care services demonstrated the same level of functional improvement as those who went to a skilled nursing facility (assessments examined their ability to walk and get up and down stairs, among other activities), the study found.… Read the rest