Your Guide to Rehabilitation Support at Home
If you’ve recently been injured, had surgery or suffered a heart attack or stroke, you may need rehab to help you to your old self. Rehab may also help prevent the same problem happening again.
What is Rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is care that helps you get back, keep or improve abilities that you need in day-to-day life which have been affected by disease, injury or medical treatments.
Rehab aims to improve your daily life and functioning by improving your strength, balance and other abilities. If you’ve fallen and broken your leg, rehabilitation helps you learn to walk again. If you’ve had a stroke, rehabilitation helps you regain as much movement and speech as possible.
Rehabilitation is provided by a number of different allied health professionals, depending on your medical needs. You may need a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or another allied health professional.
If you’ve been hospitalised due to your condition, your rehab will probably start there before you’re discharged. You may continue going to the hospital for rehab or you may be able to have rehab at home.
Rehab at Home
In-home rehabilitation services are growing in popularity now that we’re living longer and more of us are living with chronic conditions.
Rehab at home is a convenient way to continue your care. Getting to a hospital outpatient department can be hard work when you’re still recovering. You have to sort out transport, then walk a fair distance from the car park to the right part of the hospital, do your therapy (which takes up a lot of energy in the early days) then get home again.
It’s draining. And it’s unnecessary when there’s an alternative. Because, with in-home rehab, your therapist comes to you.
What’s In-Home Rehab like?
Your therapist will arrive at the agreed time – though if they’re late, you just potter about doing your own thing until they get there, which is much nicer than being stuck in a cold waiting room.
Once your therapist has arrived and you’ve had a quick chat, your therapy begins. You’re in your own peaceful, quiet space, where you feel safe and comfortable. Your therapy is happening in your real-life living environment, meaning it’s much more likely to equip you for the situations you face each day.
your therapist is focused solely on you. They’re not conscious of other patients in the waiting room and there are none of the other distractions present in the busy hospital clinic.
Does In-Home Rehab Work?
Yes. A study of 2,400 people having rehab after knee replacement surgery in New York found that patients showed the same level of improvement when using in-home rehab as they did when using a hospital-based service.
The LEAPS trial investigated in-home rehab for stroke patients and found that their walking ability improved to the same degree as patients using treadmill-based walking programs in the clinic.
So, at least for knee replacement surgery and stroke recovery, the medical outcomes are the same as you’d expect from hospital care.
Plus, in these COVID-conscious days, in-home rehab limits your exposure to others whereas going to a hospital inevitably involves encountering many new people on each visit.
How to Access In-Home Rehab
There are a few different ways to access in-home physiotherapy and rehabilitation services. The best route for you depends on your circumstances and your needs.
In-home rehab may be funded through: