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Monday, October 24, 2005

Benefits of In Home Physical Therapy

There are many different settings where physical therapist practice their craft. These settings may include schools, hospitals, private outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and in private homes. Home care physical therapy is typically thought of for patients that are homebound, thus unable to commute to an outpatient clinic. There has been a new trend in physical therapy in which the clinic is brought to the patient. A few different models are currently being used. Some therapists have a mobile clinic in the form of an RV. These RV's are equipted with treatment tables, exercise equipment & all the typical modalities you would find in an outpatient clinic. A second model that is less expensive would be a therapist coming to the home with a portable treatment table, and other hand held modality equipment.
Benefits to treating patients in their home include:
- Improved compliance by not missing treatment sessions
- Therapists can evaluate a patient in their REAL natural environment.
- Patient's don't have to travel to a clinic thus making it more time efficient
- Privacy for the patient and their family
- Eliminate disruptions from other clients, phone calls etc.
- Typical in home sessions are one hour, one on one with a therapist. This allows for effective treatment sessions and reduces the possibility of injury.
- Following surgery, having a therapist come to the home may eliminate complications of driving a car or having to negotiate dangerous obstacles on your way to an outpatient clinic.
Is in-home physical therapy right for you? There are a few questions you must ask yourself before considering in home physical therapy. The first is, how do you feel about initially having a stranger in your home. After the first few minutes with a therapist, you are divulging personal information regarding your medical history. The therapist will be a stranger for only the first few minutes. Secondly, are you capable of concentrating without distractions in your home.
Minimal space is required for the therapist. They need to set up a table and may require an outlet for modalities. Therapists are typically creative with space and can take advange of a small area to achieve the required room for exercise. Most equipment required for therapy is light and portable.
In my experience, patients love the convenience of in home therapy because it is one less trip they need to take. Typically, patients can have therapy sessions very early in the morning before going to work, or late in the evening following work. The whole concept is to promote convenience and patient compliance.
Insurance coverage is dependent on the therapist. Some therapists participate in network with medicare and other comercial plans while others are out of network. It is important to communicate with the therapist prior to the first visit to find out how your treatment sessions will be covered.
In-home physical therapy is not right for everyone. If you enjoy staying close to home, have a tight time schedule to keep, and enjoy exercising out of your home, then you should consider in home physical therapy.

Dr. Brad M. Gilden, DPT, MSPT, CSCS has been practicing orthopedic and sports physical therapy over the past six years. Dr. Gilden works with a diverse patient population treating high level athletes to adolescents. He has extensive post-graduate training in manual physical therapy and sports related injuries. Dr. Gilden practices physical therapy in Westchester, NY and will soon be joining Elite Health Services, LLC a company that offers in-home physical therapy and personal training in Lower Fairfield, CT and Westchester, NY. For more information on Elite Health Services, LLC please visit http://www.elitehealthservices.com

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