The 5 biggest benefits of Physiotherapy at home
- August 07, 2017 at 11:18am
- Ben Strachan
Home Physiotherapy Benefits.
Mobile physiotherapists provide home visit consultations, as opposed to traditional physiotherapists who work in regular, “bricks and mortar” clinic environments.
Increasingly, both patients and practitioners are becoming aware of home physiotherapy (“home physio”) benefits. In this blog, I will discuss five (5) main benefits for individual citizens, showing how they improve overall healthcare delivery in Australia today.
1. Personal Safety Benefits.
The main advantage of physiotherapy at home is safety, since it removes the burden of transport (home to physical clinic or hospital, and back) from an injured and likely stressed individual.
During my years as a traditional, fixed location physiotherapist, I often wondered how patients in severe pain made it to their appointments, particularly for weekend consultations. You see, I would often hear stories of people taking extraordinary steps to make appointments, e.g. awkward manoeuvres to enter and drive their cars in spite of stabbing or shooting pain. There were even stories of patients driving despite being unable to check their blind spot due to neck pain!
Today, physio at home continues to gain popularity in large part because of these safety considerations. Although patients can be admired for their tenacity, the bottom line is that driving to and from a clinic is dangerous and can lead to serious, if not fatal road accidents.
Once a day and time is set for the appointment, a mobile physiotherapist will drive to your home to offer top notch assessment (see below) and treatment of your injury.
Assessment is the foundation of a physiotherapy appointment, the basis for patient treatment. If we don't get it right, all assumptions going forward are incorrect and will further delay your recovery.
Consider the following example. During a clinic consultation, a patient may come in and say, “I think that my mattress is causing me back pain”. As a fixed location physiotherapist, I would be forced to make assumptions about what the bed looks and feels like. However, during a physiotherapy at home appointment, I can thoroughly assess the bed (i.e. mattress, boxspring, pillows, etc.) without delay and determine without hesitation if it's okay or needs to be replaced.
Within a traditional clinic setting, however, if I incorrectly assume that the mattress is okay and don't recommend replacement, the back injury risks getting even worse before concrete steps are taken.
For moderate to serious mobility issues, injured people understandably want to avoid outside movement by taking it easy at home. In these cases, and even for less severe cases where it's not technically unsafe to visit a traditional clinic, why not call a mobile physiotherapist? It's simply easier and more convenient for all concerned parties!
In particular, consider parents with young children, for whom a simple appointment is never that simple. Kids are easily unsettled inside clinics or other foreign environments, which adds considerable stress for everyone. The physiotherapist's attention span is lowered, causing lower quality assessment, treatment and results. Patients get discouraged, and the kids' frustration grows over time as they see Mom and/or Dad unable to perform normal tasks. Or at best, do them with considerable difficulty.
So, why not get someone to treat you in the comfort of your own home?
4. Equal Access for People with Disabilities.
Unfortunately, many people with disabilities cannot access traditional clinics. Even as Australia strives to become a more inclusive society, many edifices today are not the most handicap-friendly. While steps and tight spaces may not be a problem for most people, if you mobilise in a wheelchair, they are huge obstacles to overcome.
As a former fixed location clinic owner, I can confirm that physical location accessibility is foremost in our thoughts when setting up shop. Unfortunately, commercial rent is expensive and many physiotherapy clinics are pushed towards the back of strip (shopping) malls, or forced to locate amidst a clutter of small shops. Increasing the number of potential hazards and obstacles before entering the clinic.
Physio at home simplifies access issues, because patients have better mobility and control of their environment in the setting where they are most familiar.
5. Lower Overheads.
There is financial motivation for the physio at home movement, as well as many benefits for allied health practitioners themselves.
Operating a physical clinic is expensive with its high fixed costs and frequent income uncertainty. Unfortunately, these costs continue to mount during holidays and quiet periods. Conversely, a well-run mobile clinic has low overheads AND allows practitioners to transition towards a lifestyle business, i.e. a less stressful life that better balances family, career, and social goals/commitments.
Owner Health is at the forefront of Australia's mobile physiotherapy revolution, and offers a network of practitioners who can conduct home consultations whether you are located in Brisbane, Melbourne or elsewhere.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog. Please send us a line with your comments, and if you need physiotherapy at home, please contact us by phone or book an appointment online.
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