Six years ago, Gail Lusk, PT, Home Therapy Coordinator, became Bacharach’s first outpatient home therapist. Since then, the program has grown to include another full-time outpatient home therapist and five per diem therapists covering Atlantic and Cape May Counties.
“Bacharach originally launched the Home Therapy program because we noticed there was a gap in the health care continuum for those who needed physical therapy but were unable to leave their home,” explains Gail.
Who Should Have Home Therapy?
Bacharach’s Home Therapy program helps those with extenuating circumstances that prevent them from receiving therapy in an outpatient setting, including patients:
- who can’t navigate the steps in their home;
- who’ve had same-day surgery and need short-term training in their home;
- with more severe impairments due to strokes or neurological problems.
The goal of outpatient home therapy is to bring the aggressive outpatient therapy into the home setting in order to help patients re-enter the community as soon as possible.
PT treatment in the comfort of home
When Gail visits a patient’s home she brings weights, a stationary bicycle, foam pads and other assistive devices to help simulate an outpatient therapy experience in a home setting. “Home therapists need to be very creative in order to ensure our patients receive the same level of rigorous treatment that they would receive in an outpatient clinic,” says Gail.
Outpatient home therapy offers the unique benefit of eliminating the clinic setting to help teach patients that physical therapy does not need to only take place in the clinic. “A key part of any physical therapy program is a home exercise program. We have discovered that patients often have a difficult time translating what they do in the clinic to what they do at home. Home therapy patients tend to complete these exercise programs more effectively because they don’t have the mindset that they have to be in a clinic for therapy to happen,” says Gail.
Home Therapy is a Bridge
Outpatient home therapy serves as a much-needed bridge for patients leaving an inpatient setting but who are not yet ready for an outpatient clinic. Some home therapy patients are eventually transitioned into an outpatient setting.
“Bacharach has created a seamless continuum of care for patients as they enter from the inpatient setting through the various levels of rehabilitation that prepare them to return to their active lifestyle,” said Gail.
For more information about Bacharach’s Home Therapy program, call (609) 816-6906.