Following hospitalization, patients are often eager to resume their prior activities and lifestyles. However, additional assistance and teaching may be needed to regain safety and independence as they return home.
Upon physician referral, occupational and physical therapists assess their client’s ability to function safely and independently in the home environment with recommendations and training provided to maximize their ability to perform their daily activities.
Physical therapists (PT) evaluate daily activities with a focus on safety, mobility, balance, and endurance.
Examples of PT interventions include transferring from one location to another (ie, bed to wheelchair), walking, and stair training, as well as progressive strengthening, balance and fall prevention strategies.
Occupational therapists (OT) assess self-care skills such as dressing, bathing, and eating as well as more complex tasks such as meal preparation and light housekeeping.
Examples of OT interventions include adaptive self-care techniques, strategies to compensate for cognitive (mental functioning dealing with learning and reasoning) impairment, energy conservation, and strengthening.
Speech therapists (ST) assess and treat speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, fluency and other related disorders.
Examples of ST interventions include treating speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in individuals of all levels, from infancy to the elderly, utilizing an individualized plan with both long-term and short-term goals established for each individual's needs.
After determining functional limitations, home care therapists develop treatment plans to address environmental, musculoskeletal, neurological, cognitive, and/or psychosocial issues that are impacting safety and independence.
PT and OT professionals are skilled in providing therapy methods for pain management, lymphedema (swelling) management, home exercise programs, adaptive equipment recommendations and client/caregiver education.
Home care therapists collaborate with a team including clients, caregivers, physicians, registered nurses, home care aides, and social workers to develop a 60-day plan of care. The overall goal is to help clients achieve their highest possible level of health, independence, and comfort in the home and to help prevent the need for hospitalization.