Here's what to pack in your back when you're going to inpatient rehabilitation.

After a lengthy stay in the hospital, you or your loved one may require a level of intermediate care before returning home. Your treatment team may suggest inpatient rehabilitation to help you get the care you need as you recover.

Inpatient rehabilitation units offer a variety of rehabilitative services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, as well as wound care and medication management. Learn how to prepare and pack for your inpatient rehabilitation stay.

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Packing for Inpatient Rehab: Essentials and Helpful Items

Clothing for your stay in rehab

Pack comfortable clothing and items that allow you to participate in your therapies.

Consider bringing along garments made of soft, stretchable fabric. Pack pajamas, underwear, socks, and a light sweater or jacket. If you have trouble with buttons and zippers, it’s OK to bring these types of clothing so you can practice dressing in rehab.

Medical equipment

If you use a cane, wheelchair, or walker, make sure you have it during your inpatient rehab stay.

If you need a CPAP machine, bring it, as well as other associated supplies.

Bring along orthotics, splints, hearing aids, glasses, dentures, and denture supplies to make sure you stay comfortable. Speak to your care provider to find out if you should bring any medications from home. Oxygen tanks and concentrators will likely be provided by the facility.

Personal hygiene items for rehab

The inpatient rehabilitation unit may have toiletries available for your use, such as soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, but bringing along a few of your own products may help you feel more at home.

Think about bringing shampoo, body wash or bar soap, your hairbrush, razor, deodorant, and even a few makeup items. If it’s essential to your daily routine at home, you may want to have it with you.

Extra items, like scented lotions, perfumes, or cologne, should most likely be left at home, as some patients and staff members may be allergic.

Important documents

If you have an advance care directive or living will, provide a copy to your nurse or doctor, or ask for their help if you would like to make one during your stay.

Also bring your insurance cards, the name and number pf your personal physician, and a current list of all your medications, including the dosages and the time you take them.

You may also want to bring the phone numbers of family and friends, as well as emergency contact information. A notebook and pen may be helpful to note details about your treatment, or anything else you would like to remember.

Leisure and entertainment items

Pack a book you’d like to catch up on, magazines, a deck of cards, or crossword puzzles to keep you entertained.

The inpatient rehab facility may offer free WiFi, and a laptop computer or tablet could be a good source of entertainment and connection to family and friends. You can also bring your cell phone and charger if you choose.

Things to Leave at Home

While many facilities offer a secure location to protect your valuables, it’s a better idea to leave these items at home. And don’t bring large amounts of cash.

Smoking is not allowed in your inpatient rehabilitation facility, and often won’t be permitted outside the building, so leave cigarettes and lighters at home. You can talk to your medical team about how to quit while you are in rehab.

Check out this inpatient rehab checklist for a more complete look at essentials to pack for inpatient rehabilitation. If you have any questions about how to prepare for rehab, you may contact the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at 1-877-AT-REHAB (1-877-287-3422).

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

About UPMC Rehabilitation Institute

The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute offers inpatient, outpatient, and transitional rehabilitation, as well as outpatient physician services so that care is available to meet the needs of our patients at each phase of the recovery process. Renowned physiatrists from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as highly trained physical, occupational, and speech therapists, provide individualized care in 12 inpatient units within acute care hospitals and over 80 outpatient locations close to home and work.