Senior home care can include a wide range of services and supports with one purpose: to provide ways to maintain independence, stay safe, and remain in your own home longer. Oftentimes, a physician may prescribe some type of therapy for rehabilitation or even to address a patient’s aging process. Home care is a favorable option for many because of its convenience. So, let’s talk about the 3 most common types of therapy that are available to you at home.
Physical therapy is the treatment of a disease, injury, or condition by physical methods like exercise rather than by drugs or surgery. A physical therapist (PT) can visit your home to provide rehabilitation services and treatments. A PT can help you strengthen muscles and increase your mobility. Physical therapy is usually prescribed under circumstances such as post-operation, after a bone fracture, or after suffering a heart attack or stroke. Certain medical conditions like Parkinson’s or ALS may require physical therapy as well.
A physical therapist will help you learn exercises and techniques to strengthen muscles, reduce pain, increase range of motion, and improve mobility. They might even provide some therapeutic massage if the illness or injury calls for it. Depending on your specific needs, a PT may bring with them different exercise or mobility tools such as stretch bands, light weights, or walkers. You should expect to see your in-home PT from 1 to 3 days per week.
For seniors with limited mobility or who are unable to drive, the convenience of in-home anything is alluring! Also, there is something to be said for one-on-one care as opposed to clinical. Patients receive more personalized treatments and in turn, see results sooner.
Occupational therapy (OT) encourages the rehabilitation of physical, sensory, or cognitive issues through activities of daily living. Its purpose is to help increase functional independence as well as improve and maintain gross motor skills. This is done through a variety of exercises, focusing on completing daily tasks such as dressing or eating.
An occupational therapist (OT) will assess your living situation and your motor skills. They will then come up with a plan for addressing your needs and possibly adapting your home. An OT may recommend the use of handrails or other supports to make everyday living safer.
Occupational therapy can decrease pain, increase mobility, and help strengthen motor skills. When done at home, it can be especially helpful since the daily activities you likely need the most help with are right there.
Speech therapy, for seniors, addresses cognitive and physical conditions that affect talking or swallowing. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) uses a variety of methods and educational tools to help patients communicate better and eat safer.
An SLP will assess your condition and provide therapy. Methods can include muscle-strengthening exercises and sound-formation exercises as well as learning swallowing techniques. Sometimes, patients are even taught American sign language (ASL) or provided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems.
A home SLP can keep your family or other care providers actively involved in your therapy. Family can learn with you so that they may assist in your progress long after your SLP has left for the day.
Are you looking for home health care or other services to help with aging in place?
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Originally published April 26, 2022