Physiotherapy is one of the approaches adopted to treat a host of medical conditions including neurological conditions, musculoskeletal dysfunctions, cardiopulmonary problems, sports-related injuries and post-surgery recovery. It may be given in the standalone form or may support other forms of treatment holistically.
Trained professionals administer this therapy to patients and take care of them throughout the complete treatment cycle. This lasts right from the initial diagnosis of the underlying medical condition to the final restorative and preventive stages of recovery.
Physiotherapy has some special advantages in the context of seniors as entailed below
- Better pain management with reduced need for medication
- Avoidance of surgical intervention
- Enhanced mobility and movement
- Quicker recovery after surgery, injury and trauma
- Rehabilitation from attacks of stroke and paralysis
- Improved coordination and balance
- Prevention of falls
- Optimal management of health problems due to aging
The therapy is largely tailored to the patient’s needs according to their individual medical history and need for clinical treatment. It may be administered at hospitals, therapy centres or given in the comfort of the home by qualified professionals. Of late, an increasing number of elders are taking physiotherapy at home thanks to the growing popularity and promising benefits of geriatric home healthcare services.
Let us now explore the benefits of taking physiotherapy at home for the elders
- Meets the healthcare needs of senior patients who are having chronic health issues and cannot travel to the physiotherapy centre.
- Becomes more cost-effective for most patients as travel costs are eliminated. Besides, the high expenses incurred for medical transportation using ambulances may be eliminated for patients requiring such support for travel. However, home service charges may be slightly higher than those levied at the clinics or hospitals.
- Aids in better time management especially in cases where acute pain and stress need to be handled in elderly patients.
- Facilitates the supervision of family members or caretakers who are present at home. This ensures that they can keep a better watch on whether the patient is getting the required physiotherapy care or not.
- Enhances the comfort levels of the patient as the ambiance of the home fosters a better natural healing environment. This is particularly beneficial to regain memory and cognitive associations in patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s wherein familiarity of the surroundings plays a vital role in the treatment process.
- Serves as an ideal environment for stroke patients who need long term physiotherapy for recovery and rehabilitation as they can get exhausted easily.
- The proximity and physical presence of the loved ones at home can boost the morale of the seniors and expedite the recovery process.
- Encourages a personalized approach to treatment as it allows a detailed discussion of the problems, concerns and treatment roadmap with the concerned physician and physiotherapist.
- Increases the scope of attention as the therapist can devote sufficient time and give personal attention to the patient. Since the attention span of the physiotherapist is not diverted, a better quality assessment may be done and appropriate remedial treatment may be dispensed. This dedicated process of treatment helps in better recovery and healing.
- Ensures the personal safety of the patient as it mitigates the risk of driving or travelling for seniors who are physically unfit. It also prevents serious injuries and fatal accidents during transit.
- Lays a strong foundation for making the correct assumptions and diagnosis regarding the course of therapy. That is critical because making incorrect assumptions can lead to wrong treatment approaches and delayed recovery.
- Makes healthcare accessible to the disabled, handicapped and immobile patients and also those elders who have severe mobility constraints.
- Helps the therapist to devise a personalized routine for the patient taking into consideration the infrastructure and facilities available at home. It also encourages them to provide better recovery guidelines as they get more familiar with the homely surroundings.
- Eliminates long waiting times at therapy centres and makes treatment less cumbersome.
- Effectively safeguards high-risk patients from contracting infections in public places.
- Leads to better time management as many therapists may have non-flexible schedules and seniors cannot meet the appointments. In such cases, the elders can well adhere to their routines and yet get effective therapy at home by adequate planning and scheduling.
- Reduces the burden on family members or caretakers who have to handle other personal responsibilities like child care apart from catering to the patient’s needs.
- Overcomes the barriers of constrained and unfriendly patient spaces that may be prevalent at centres which can inhibit handicapped persons from availing therapy. Besides, the patients need not have to tackle with the innumerable potential hazards en route the therapy clinic.
- Lowers overhead costs to healthcare practitioners as operating a physiotherapy centre is an expensive proposition due to high fixed investments but uncertain incomes. These costs could lead to huge losses particularly during holidays and recession periods.
- Boosts the chances of improvement and enhances healthcare outcomes as patients are more comfortable, relaxed and less stressed to respond to treatment quickly.