Frequently Asked Questions
The Journey is Better Traveled Together
Selecting the rehabilitation program that is right for you and your loved one can be a difficult choice. Below is a list of common questions we receive from persons served and families. We hope this information can support you along your journey to finding the right rehabilitation program.

How is Post-Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation different than a hospital?

A hospital setting is where urgent medical needs are addressed and patient goals address the development of very basic skills and stabilization of medical needs. When a brain injury patient reaches a certain point and medical care in a hospital setting is no longer required, they may be eligible to continue their rehabilitation in a post-acute inpatient setting. In On With Life’s post-acute setting, persons served will receive intense therapy and nursing services.

What is your nursing ratio per person?

We have an incredibly high nursing staff to person served ratio, providing an average of 8.3 nursing direct care hours per person per day compared to the state average of 3.5 hours. This is the highest in the state of Iowa, outside of an acute hospital setting.

What is your average length of stay?

Last year, the average length of stay for persons served with a traumatic brain injury was 102 days, and persons served who experienced a stroke was 82 days. The average length of stay for persons served in our specialty program for those in a coma or minimally conscious state was 178 days. View our most recent outcomes here.

Where do your persons served come from?

Persons served have come from acute hospitals, acute rehabilitation hospitals, long-term hospitals, nursing facilities and even home. We have served people from all 99 counties in Iowa, 23 states, and 14 countries.

What ages are the persons you serve?

We provide services to persons age 10 and older.

Where will I stay?

Persons served will stay in one of our private rooms with a private or shared wheelchair accessible bathroom.

Can my family visit?

Yes, family members are an important part of the rehabilitation process. On With Life suggests ending visits by 10 PM so you or your loved one can rest for the night; however, we understand there may be exceptions.

Where will my family stay?

They can apply to stay in the Family Guest House on On With Life’s campus or discounted rates are available through local hotels. Please talk with your On With Life social worker for more information.

What is your experience at On With Life treating persons living with brain injury?

Over the past 20 years, our Post-Acute Inpatient Program has provided rehabilitation to more than 1,500 persons who have experienced a brain injury, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumor, aneurysm, anoxia or other neurological condition. What makes On With Life different than many other programs is that our sole focus and expertise is in the treatment of brain injuries. We put significant resources into staying current in the field of brain injury to ensure our staff has access to ongoing evidence-based learning opportunities.

How much therapy will I receive?

You or your loved one will receive approximately three to five hours of therapy a day, five to six days a week, depending on their endurance. This includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreation therapy, music therapy, rehabilitation counseling and peer mentoring. Approximately 3 hours of core therapy (physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy) are provided per day.

Will I have a doctor at On With Life?

A team of physicians supervises the planning and implementation of each individual’s comprehensive rehabilitation plan. Our rehabilitation teams work closely with these physicians and other specialists to maximize functional outcomes. Click here to read more about the medical team.

What does the campus look like?

On With Life is located in Ankeny, just 20 minutes north of Des Moines. Enjoy walks around the walking path or sit by the pond. Click here to view our virtual tour of our building and campus.

On With Life is also home to a one-of-a-kind therapy garden on its Ankeny campus, which includes new walking trails with varying surfaces and interwoven paths; an amphitheater for group activities, including a putting green and basketball court; interactive areas like a butterfly garden, water features, built-in music areas and a zen garden; and satellite gazebos to serve as relaxation areas for families and quiet areas for therapy.

An adjoining all-inclusive playground allows persons served, including those in wheelchairs, to have outdoor play time with their children and grandchildren. Outdoor therapy equipment and an obstacle course is built around the playground to allow persons served the ability to participate in therapy while watching their children play.