In the process of guiding a loved one through a seemingly hopeless case of alcohol abuse, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. As someone who cares for someone with this kind of addiction, you simply want the best. With the numerous choices available, how do you go about in choosing the right program and facility? How sure are you that the one you choose is the most effective?
According to Dr. Maher Soudah, director of Kaiser Wellness Center, the first step is to understand what your options are. Only then can you make a personal and informed decision in finding the right treatment program.
What You Should Look for When Choosing a Rehabilitation Facility
Case Worker/Patient Care Coordinator
Alcohol rehabilitation facilities need to have a case worker or care coordinator for each patient. This is one of the things that you need to find out first. The caseworker should be able to answer questions regarding insurance and discharge issues. This will ensure that your loved one still gets aftercare services even after being discharged from the rehab center.
Available Therapy Treatments
There are cases where a rehabilitation facility may need more therapy than a nursing home. Typically, each patient should receive about three hours of therapy on a daily basis. This doesn’t have to be continuous — it can be spread out at different times on the same day.
Through progressive therapy, the patient will be more confident and stronger. Therapy for alcoholism could be different from patient to patient, but this most likely depends on the specialist or therapist assigned to him or her.
Nurse to Patient Ratio
Rehabilitation facilities are often swarmed with caregivers, but not all them are qualified rehabilitation nurses. Not all nurses specialize in rehabilitation care, so be wary of facilities that heavily employ Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).
Ideally, there should be one nurse for every five patients during the day. Find out if your chosen facility has enough staff, so the quality of care isn’t compromised.
Qualified Medical Staff
Dr. Maher Soudah says that a rehab facility should have board-certified medical staff available around the clock. They should be available all the time and are situated within the facility 24/7. Make sure your chosen facility has a physician trained in rehab care, specifically an internist specializing in critical care.
Cleanliness and Orderliness
For rehabilitation to be effective, it is important that patients are at their utmost comfort from the looks of the facility alone. The moment you walk in, assess whether it looks clean and smells good, void of any unpleasant odor. Apart from appearing functional and appealing, the facility should have complete amenities in its patient rooms. Check if the area is accessible both indoors and outdoors, and if has an area that patients can use when they need to step outside within the confines of the facility.
In the United States, a rehab center must be certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO). JCAHO regularly monitors accredited rehab facilities and conduct evaluations once in every three years.
Intensive Outpatient Program
In cases where a loved one isn’t comfortable staying at a rehabilitation facility, try asking if your prospect rehab center has an outpatient program. This program allows the patient to stay at home with family but is still able to receive intensive care. Some
people may find this challenging, but this is a better option for some patients who would want to be around family and friends most
of the time to help them cope. It is a big step to admit that alcohol has taken over the life of your loved one. “Recognition can often
encourage people to continue treatment,” Dr. Soudah notes. This means that it’s important for a person with alcoholism to feel
understood and supported. Family therapy sessions and education programs are available to assist with those feelings.