Home health physical therapists have the privilege of helping patients adapt to physical challenges or to regain function and reclaim their lives at home after a significant medical event. Changes in physical capabilities may mean that a patient needs to renovate his or her home, or it may require just a few simple modifications.
Whatever the scale of change needed, it is important that someone who understands the patient’s medical condition–and the needs that go with it–speak into the planning process before time and money are spent on renovations. Home health PTs are well-positioned to fill this role.
Occupational therapy plays a key role in identifying strategies that enable individuals to modify their homes, thereby maximizing their ability to participate in daily tasks/activities. Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled at recognizing how the environment affects the ability to perform desired occupations. An occupational therapist evaluates balance, coordination, endurance, safety awareness, strength, attention, problem solving, vision, communication, and many other functions while the individual performs daily tasks. In addition to the individual’s performance abilities, occupational therapists also evaluate the home environment to identify barriers to performance.
HOME HEALTH CARE
Home care includes any professional support services that allow a person to live safely in their home. In-home care services can help someone who is aging and needs assistance to live independently; is managing chronic health issues; is recovering from a medical setback; or has special needs or a disability. Professional caregivers such as nurses, aides, and therapists provide short-term or long-term care in the home, depending on a person’s needs
CASE MANAGERS, DISCHARGE PLANNERS, SOCIAL WORKERS
Discharge planning is the quality links between hospitals, community-based services, non-government organizations, and carers.
Effective discharge planning supports the continuity of healthcare, between the health care setting and the community, based on the individual needs of the patient. It is described as the critical link between treatment received in hospital by the patient, and post-discharge care provided in the community.
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