Pulmonary rehab post COVID infection

Posted by tinamom @tinamom, Aug 16, 2021

We live in Ohio. Wondering if there are actual inpatient pulmonary facilities. My husband is post Covid. Has trach and on hi flow oxygen. Is in an LTAC. The inpatient rehabilitation centers close don’t take patients at the hi flow rate he is on and the LTAC just isn’t able to do the rehab we think might be available somewhere. Anyone have any thoughts?

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I am so sorry to hear the problems facing your husband. Here is a resource you can check to see if there is anyone near you https://www.survivorcorps.com/pccc-oh
Please let me know if you are able to find help for him.
Sue

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Thank you for that. We are waiting to have an appt. with CC in their post intensive care clinic. I am going to call the inpt. Center in Toledo tomorrow to see if they would take him with his O2 requirements. Thank you again

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@tinamom

Thank you for that. We are waiting to have an appt. with CC in their post intensive care clinic. I am going to call the inpt. Center in Toledo tomorrow to see if they would take him with his O2 requirements. Thank you again

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You're welcome. Being able to provide you with a resource to help makes my day! Let me know how it goes, please.
Sue

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Just a thought. After lung cancer surgery I had multiple lung problems, I was however an active YMCA member who attended 'chair aerobics' classes with my oxygen on. (I am 73) When my Dr. suggested pulmonary rehabilitation classes, I went to about 4 and decidedd the group chair aerobics class worked better for me, because I needed the group support as much as I needed the exercise. If you can't find a rehab place, maybe the y(or any gym) would work for you too. The mental burden of realizing that you might never again be the person you once were is really devestating. He is fortunate to have someone like you who cares.

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@pc2018

Just a thought. After lung cancer surgery I had multiple lung problems, I was however an active YMCA member who attended 'chair aerobics' classes with my oxygen on. (I am 73) When my Dr. suggested pulmonary rehabilitation classes, I went to about 4 and decidedd the group chair aerobics class worked better for me, because I needed the group support as much as I needed the exercise. If you can't find a rehab place, maybe the y(or any gym) would work for you too. The mental burden of realizing that you might never again be the person you once were is really devestating. He is fortunate to have someone like you who cares.

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@pc2018– I also did Pulmonary Rehab and it was the best thing that I ever did! I encourage it for everyone because it helps you to move and breathe better while still feeling safe. Good for you.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. He is still inpatient at an LTACH. Each time he is about ready for DC to
Inpatient rehab. he has a set back with O2. I am considering trying to get him home as I feel we might be able to do more for him at home. Anyone have experience at home on hi flow O2 with trach?

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@tinamom

Thank you all for your suggestions. He is still inpatient at an LTACH. Each time he is about ready for DC to
Inpatient rehab. he has a set back with O2. I am considering trying to get him home as I feel we might be able to do more for him at home. Anyone have experience at home on hi flow O2 with trach?

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Hi Tinamom,
First, allow me to unpack the acronyms to make sure I'm understanding correctly. Your husband is in a long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) currently recovering after COVID-19 infection. While he still requires hi-flow oxygen (O2) through a tracheostomy, he is almost ready for discharge (DC).

Am I right so far? Is discharge dependent on his being able to breathe on his own?

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You are correct. He is in a long term acute care hospital. We were hopeful he would qualify for inpatient rehabilitation but he will have to have lower oxygen requirements at least for local inpatient rehabilitation centers. We would consider bringing him home if that could be arranged safely. We don’t have anyone helping to coordinate care. He has a case manager but it seems we are stuck and feel we need to do something more to get him better

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@tinamom

You are correct. He is in a long term acute care hospital. We were hopeful he would qualify for inpatient rehabilitation but he will have to have lower oxygen requirements at least for local inpatient rehabilitation centers. We would consider bringing him home if that could be arranged safely. We don’t have anyone helping to coordinate care. He has a case manager but it seems we are stuck and feel we need to do something more to get him better

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What an difficult situation you and your husband are in! I think, if you have the strength and ability to do it, that bringing him home is not impossible. But, the 24/7 care that a trach & hi-flow O2, plus all the other disabilities introduced by his condition make care a Herculean task.

Let me give you an example – my nephew, age 67, was at home for post-surgical care & rehab after brain cancer surgery last year. His care team consisted of daughter (an RN), son & daughter-in-law, all healthy and in their 30's, with occasional help from others. After less than 2 months, they had to admit it was not sustainable and place him in an appropriate residential facility. He did not have a trach, so they were not limited to an LTACH, but it was still difficult to find care.

Here are a few things to consider:
What is his prognosis – in other words, with proper therapy, do the doctors believe the trach & high-flow O2 are temporary? What about mobility and cognitive ability after rehab?
Do you have long-term care insurance and/or Medicare to help with the huge costs?
What is the availability and cost of at-home therapy in your area, and who will cover it?
How many willing & able helpers will you have to assist you, including someone reliable overnight so you can get quality sleep to sustain the effort? As far as I know, it will be difficult to get anyone to cover 24/7 professional care in your home, so there will be many hours of help needed.
What is the availability of in-home care in your area? (My 70 yo friend and her sisters have had to take over as PCA's and RN for their disabled brother because there are no reliable agencies or employees in our metro area of 3 million, even if they were willing to supplement the workers' pay.)
If you cannot find suitable care in your immediate area, would it make sense to find a rehab facility in another city or state that would work?

Maybe you can get help from the case manager to find a care coordinator to work with you. This may be through a local council on disability or aging, or someone independent.

Here are some possible helps in your decision-making process
https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2019/providing-homecare.html
I hope this gives you a few things to think about as you work through this very tough decision.
Sue

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