3 Key Ways To Increase Your Own Health And Happiness While In An Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility

When it comes to inpatient rehab facilities, many patients think that the simple fact that they are in a controlled environment means they can do whatever they want with regards to cleanliness and mental health. For example, one of the most commonly overlooked sources of illness in any hospital or rehab facility is food that has been left out for extended periods of time by a patient. Small health mishaps like these can greatly complicate your stay in a rehab facility, so it's up to the patient to make sure that he or she isn't creating any unnecessary hazards in his or her room. On the other hand, it's also very important to keep up morale during an extended stay in an inpatient facility, since this factor can play a role that transcends medical knowledge. Here are some tips for making sure that your room remains a safe, clean place to get healthy ASAP and in good spirits.

Food Management

As previously stated, mismanagement of food waste in rehab facilities is a common source of illness among patients, and leftovers can quickly become a breeding ground for insects and mold if left unchecked. In order to make sure that your food waste isn't going to become a health hazard, follow these three simple rules: 

  1. Keep food scraps out of bathroom sinks, since the plumbing in most bathrooms simply isn't designed to flush out food scraps like a kitchen sink or garbage disposal is 
  2. Set your own expiration dates either by judging the look of leftover food or by following a table to avoid spoilage or mold formation
  3. Ask for alternative gifts from family and friends like plants or books which won't harbor mold and bugs as easily as a rotten fruit basket, for example

Get Ample Sunlight

Many people find themselves cloistered away during their time in a rehabilitation facility, especially if they are dealing with a painful procedure or getting past a traumatic event. However, the temptation to close the blinds and remain in isolation for days at a time can be harmful. Opening your blinds and getting some sunlight can help not only your vitamin D levels, but also your mood and your circadian rhythms, which can be important when you are out of your daily routine for an extended period of time. 

Find a Mentor

One of the more recent developments in inpatient rehabilitation care has been to recruit mentors who have gone through a similar rehabilitation period as a current patient and match the two together for a number of benefits. These benefits include tips on coping with a new condition, like living after an amputation, or even just a listening ear from someone who's been there before. See if your facility can pair you with a mentor, and if not, ask around at the hospital where you had your initial treatment or surgery to see if your doctor can recommend any past patients as mentors. Having a helping, empathetic hand there to cheer you on during recovery can make a world of difference that can't translate to medical jargon. 

Contact a local facility, such as Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital, for further assistance.