When a patient is referred to Home Care, it is often because he or she is unable to safely leave their home. It is a primary goal for most patients to maximize their ability to resume independent activities, often including access to the community. When this is the case, a physician provides a referral for a Physical Therapist to guide the patient in developing skills necessary for bed mobility, transfers and ambulation.
In a literal sense, Home Care is the provision of skilled services in the patient's place of residence. The majority of patients are senior citizens, but individuals of all ages who need rehabilitation because of injury or other causes are also treated. Although commonly provided in the patient's residence, rehabilitation may also take place in a caregivers' home, community group home or assisted living facility.
An evaluation takes place on the first visit including an examination to identify current and potential problems. Based on the results, the physical therapist will design a plan of care in collaboration with the patient and caregivers. The Plan of Care addresses specific interventions within a time frame for achieving goals. Exercise is typically an important component of successful rehab, so the physical therapist routinely provides the patient or personal caregiver with home exercise instructions to facilitate faster recovery.
Health conditions commonly seen in home health physical therapy:
- Total joint replacements
- Neurological conditions
- Fall risk
- Chronic pain
- Heart Failure
- General debility
Skills used by a physical therapist in home health may include:
- Gait training
- Transfer training
- Home exercise program development
- Fall prevention
- Resistive exercise progression
- Pain management
- Adaptive equipment instruction and home modification