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Is In-Home Rehabilitation Right for Your Senior?

By Ruby Cemental

In-home rehabilitation is one of the most accessible and convenient ways for seniors to regain function after hospitalization or a debilitating illness. All of your loved one's energy can be used for healing instead of having to deal with the difficulties of arranging transportation, both physical and mental. Here are some of the benefits and disadvantages of in-home rehab.

Benefits of In-Home Rehab

No Transportation Required

One of the main benefits of in-home rehab is that seniors don't have to worry about transportation to a rehab facility. Arranging for transportation adds stress and the worry that friends and loved ones may be inconvenienced. An additional worry is that something may prevent their transportation from showing up, such as an unexpected event including traffic. Some communities offer senior transportation services, but arranging for this causes more stress, and the wait for pick up at an outpatient therapy center can be long.  

Peace & Quiet of Home

Physical therapy centers are often crowded and noisy, and waiting times can be intolerable for people in pain and for anxious patients. Dealing with unfamiliar surroundings can be difficult, especially in the recovery phase. In-home rehabilitation allows seniors to perform their exercises in the quiet and comfort of their own home. 

More Personalized Care

In-home therapists generally have fewer patients so they can deliver more personalized care. They are not distracted by the demands of the workplace. If an in-home therapist is running behind, the patient can wait in the comfort of their home. The patient will not worry about having to notify return transportation of a delay. 

Additionally, exercises prescribed to be performed between sessions can be tailored to the senior's environment. Instead of being instructed to perform a certain action so many times, the therapist will assess the home and suggest where the action can be best performed. 

Faster Recovery

Evidence shows that the personalized care possible from in-home therapy helps the patient heal faster. The environment is stress-free, and the sessions are one-on-one, thus, more focused. Distractions are considerably limited when therapy is performed at home.

Disadvantages of In-Home Rehab

Cost

The cost of in-home therapy may be greater per session than in-patient or outpatient rehab. However, fewer sessions may be needed if a senior is able to recover faster, outweighing the potential increase in cost. 

More professionals are realizing the benefits personalized, in-home physical therapy, so more therapists are specializing in in-home care. This means more therapists are available and it is likely that costs will continue to drop. As this is a growth industry, portable equipment is being developed so the patient can have the advantage of sophisticated therapy equipment the therapist can bring to the home. 

May Be More Difficult to Get Insurance Approval

Home care is becoming more popular, so more insurance companies are paying for it. However, you may need to prove that in-home therapy is a cost-effective choice. Insurance companies normally approve in-home care if the patient is unable to travel to an outpatient facility or needs to go by ambulance. 

Work with the insurance agent and therapy center to discuss choices. Once you know all the options, work with the therapist to develop a care plan that is best for your senior and is within the budget. 

Less Focused & Intensive

Unlike in-patient rehab, a senior isn't necessarily provided with intensive, daily therapy treatment during in-home rehab. However, this principle is the same with outpatient rehabilitation. Seniors in an in-patient facility are there with the sole purpose of recovery and therapy while outpatient and in-home therapy allows seniors the freedom to resume their routine and participate in therapy when needed. 

Less Support

While being in a facility can seem noisy, crowded, or unfamiliar, it does offer the benefit of being surrounded by seniors who are going through the same experience. The community offered by in-patient rehabilitation may be a benefit to some seniors who need extra motivation. 

With the right information, in-home care may be the best way for your senior to gain optimal health and the greatest mobility.

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Ruby Cemental Blog Author

Tags: Rehabilitation

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