What is Convalescent Care?

convalescent care

Convalescent care refers to the short-term care provided by skilled professionals to persons recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery. The goal is for the individual to gain enough strength to become independent again without requiring support.

So with this type of care, older adults can get back on their feet without having to stay in a hospital. For instance, someone with hip replacement surgery may require initial support with moving around, cooking, laundry, and so on until they can return to their normal lifestyle — this is where convalescent care comes in.

At Seasons Retirement, we provide various care programs for older adults, including respite care, to ensure they enjoy a long and comfortable life. Our short-term stay program is excellent for a short-term trial stay or recovery after illness or operation.

This article discusses convalescent care’s meaning and what the program entails.

Convalescent Care Meaning

Convalescent care is a short-term support program for older adults recovering from illness, injury, or surgery. It can also be referred to as Recovery Care.

The goal of convalescent care is to nurture recovering older adults until they regain optimal health. Individuals may need convalescent care after hospital discharge following a fall accident, a stroke, or post-surgery recovery. The program allows them to return to their everyday lives and routine without requiring support to carry out activities.

This program isn’t the best option for individuals who are unlikely to recover from their illnesses fully; in these cases, an assisted living program, a home nurse, or a live-in caregiver is more suitable, as these options provide the round-the-clock support required to live comfortably.

Hence, Convalescent care is considered different from respite care. Respite care provides a substitute caregiver for someone whose regular carer is on a break because of an emergency or if the patient requires short-term care of no more than two weeks. Meanwhile, convalescent care can span months, pending the time the patient fully recovers from their illness or injury.

Best Spaces For Convalescent Care

Hospitals do not provide convalescence care. In hospitals with limited space, patients with a potential for a full recovery are asked to return home as soon as possible. Since such patients are not fully recovered, they would need convalescent care.

Let’s look at the best places to provide convalescent care:

The Home

Most times, older adults prefer to remain in their homes rather than elsewhere. This choice may be because of their fondness and attachment to their houses — which probably hold several loving and fond memories that may benefit them physically and emotionally.

Also, it is easier to navigate a familiar environment with friendly faces, own pets, possessions., etc. Arrangements would be made for a caregiver to come in daily to offer assistance until the patient can continue their routine without support.

If there is a need, an older adult can make arrangements for a live-in caregiver to offer the 24/7 care required. A caregiver is usually trained to provide medical assistance and companionship to keep older adults engaged physically and mentally while patients recover.

Retirement Community

A care home is an excellent option for older adults without close-by family and friends to provide the recovery care they need for rehabilitation. Here, recovering persons have access to 24/7 care with the added benefit of socializing with others.

The residents are offered an avenue to meet and connect with new people and improve their social life while they recover. Also, convalescent care in a care home provides easy access to facilities a caregiver may need to care for a resident properly. Residents are quickly taken care of in emergencies, unlike at home, with limited resources and facilities.

Services Convalescent Caregivers Offer

Convalescent caregivers are trained to offer several services that improve older adults’ health. These services include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Drafting of practical plans for recovery care and meal intake
  • Companionship
  • Incontinence
  • Simple daily routines like cleaning and bathing
  • Counselling
  • Administration of drugs
  • Personal care
  • Short walks and strolls, etc.

Who Gets Convalescent Care?

Convalescent care only caters to people with the potential to recover fully from a previous illness or accident. It is a short-term program, which is different from an assisted living program whose goal is long-term care to ensure the comfort of older adults.

Convalescent care aims to support older adults until they recover and regain their independence — no longer need additional support.

People with lifelong medical conditions do not fall under the category of people who require convalescent care. The following are groups of individuals who qualify for recovery care.

  • Older adults who have undergone a hip replacement
  • Older adults recovering from a stroke
  • Persons in need of after-surgery care
  • Older adults who are recovering from a temporary illness.

How Long Is Convalescent Care?

Like any other treatment or care, convalescent care is particular to each individual. Some people may need convalescent care for only a few days, while others may need weeks or months.

The length of the care program depends on the severity of the illness or injury. To determine the duration of the care, one would undergo an assessment of their present health. This evaluation is also necessary to draw out a care plan unique to an individual to ensure a smooth recovery.


Convalescent care ensures that recovering older adults are well cared for throughout their recovery. From the food they eat to the exercises they engage in, recovering individuals get special and specialized care until they can get back on their feet. With the aid of an assessment, convalescent caregivers meticulously draw individual plans to suit the needs of the older adult in their care.

To access convalescent care, one must call a convalescent care home two weeks before making a suitable reservation. If your need for convalescent care is an emergency, it’s best to call a care home that provides these services to confirm the availability of residential space.

Making decisions about convalescent care depends on the individual to be cared for and their health status at the point of evaluation.

If you are interested in convalescent or respite care at a Seasons Retirement Community, please call the nearest residence for program availability.

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