Facts And Tips To Help Your Patient Achieve Success With Rehabilitation
As a home healthcare professional, you have a range of skills. At Pegasus, we encourage you to apply those skills to teach patients and their families how to improve their well-being. That, and our hiring policy that emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusivity, is part of providing excellent patient care.
Pegasus skilled in-home caregivers in Chatsworth and elsewhere know that rehab is often essential for their patients. They recognize its contribution to good health. Career home health care nurses offer these tips for setting your patient up for rehabilitation success.
Rehabilitation encompasses a wide variety of treatments. It’s defined as a “set of interventions designed to optimize functioning and reduce disability.” It’s tailored to meet an individual’s needs to help them become more independent.
Numerous conditions lead to patients needing rehab. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Accidents resulting in injury
- Acute medical condition
- Age-related loss of abilities
- Chronic disease
- Post-surgical recovery
Individuals who find it difficult to eat, hear, see, speak, think, or have mobility issues can benefit from rehabilitation.
There’s More Than One Kind Of Therapy
Many people tend to think of substance abuse and going to a treatment center when someone mentions rehab. Although that’s one aspect, there are many kinds of therapy. The specialties include, but aren’t limited to:
- Cognition and behavior
- Occupational (focuses on improving the ability to perform the activities of daily living)
- Speech and language
- Vestibular (helps reduce vertigo)
Your Pegasus team includes one or more of these specialists.
Your elderly patients may believe they are too old for rehab. Some fear that therapy will be painful. Explain to them that along with the benefits of the specific treatment they’ve been prescribed, general benefits include:
- Decreased risk of conditions such as osteoporosis
- Improved control of blood pressure
- Improved balance and fall prevention
- Increased ability to take care of themselves
- Increased muscle strength
- Reduced pain
Emphasize to them that refusing to accept therapy potentially reduces their independence. Refusal can also lower their quality of life.
As a home healthcare professional, you are an advocate for your patient. You may be the first one to recognize that the individual requires therapy. In that case, you may arrange for a therapist to consult with the patient, their family, and their physician.
In other instances, your patient may have experienced a traumatic event, such as a stroke. Or perhaps they fell or were in an accident. They are released to home care, including therapy.
Preparing Your Patient
It’s essential that you understand the therapist’s goal and treatment plan for your patient. Patients aren’t always clear on the specifics of their therapy. They often believe it’s just to “help them feel better” without really knowing what constitutes better.
Ask your patient what “better” means to them. What do they hope to achieve from undergoing therapy? If their assumptions are unrealistic, you will need to work with the therapist to clarify the results.
To prevent your patient from becoming disappointed and quitting therapy, explain that rehabilitation won’t necessarily make them “whole.” It’s intended to make them able to function. Their degree of success depends on:
- In what way, and how severely, they are impaired or disabled.
- The condition for which they need therapy and how severe it is.
- The support of their family. You will probably have a role in educating the family. They need to understand how they can help and have realistic expectations of improvement.
- Their overall health.
Patients and their families may have to adapt to lifestyle changes.
Help your patient accumulate their medical records before their first appointment. That includes lab reports, hospital discharge instructions, and medications. The therapist needs to be aware of all your patient’s medical conditions.
Prepare a written record of symptoms. Include what seems to help and what doesn’t. Have your patient make a list of any questions they have.
Advise your patient to get a good night’s sleep before their appointment. They should not skip meals beforehand and should be hydrated. Recommend loose-fitting or comfortable clothing.
Explain that the therapist will probably ask a lot of questions. Many will be about their activities and interests. That’s to help patients regain the ability to do what they enjoy.
Your patient should also expect the therapist to evaluate their:
- Ability to bend or lift something
- Ability to get up from a prone or sitting position
- Blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration
Your patient may be instructed to cease or modify specific movements or activities. They may also need assistive devices. If your patient is given “homework,” encourage them to do it exactly as instructed.
It’s Time to Join Our Team
Pegasus in-home caregivers in Chatsworth and our other locations are experts in obtaining needed services for their patients. When necessary, they use their networking skills to find therapists. Our career home health care nurses know that rehabilitation success helps individuals continue to live safely at home.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. We are an equal opportunity employer and a recognized leader in our industry. Isn’t it time you joined a company that cares about you?