Home Evaluation & Home Safety From The Therapy Team At MediLodge of Taylor

by Pratyush Chamala, RPT

At MediLodge of TaylorMediLodge of Taylor Home Evaluation, we have an interdisciplinary therapy team made up of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists who assist patients with various musculoskeletal, neurological and pulmonary issues to return home.  The therapy practitioners want to know that their patients are returning to safe environments when they are discharged from skilled therapy.  Studies have shown that people function better in a familiar environment where they are comfortable and performing at their best possible level.  The Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist ensure that the patient’s environment is safe and promote greater independence and quality of life.

Home evaluation requires a team approach where, prior to discharge, the family comes and gets the patient.  A physical therapist and occupational therapist work on transitioning the client from the wheelchair into the car, training the family as they go.  They then follow the family to the home.  While the occupational therapist measures things like the height of the bed or the width of doorways, doing the actual evaluation, the physical therapist navigates the barriers in the home.  The team approach allows practitioners to identify problems in the home.  When they return to the clinic, they discuss with the family what modifications and adaptations to make, recommend equipment, and further train the family members on other accommodations.  Rather than simply dropping the patient off at home, we come back to the building and brainstorm, which gives us time to create a safe environment and that’s something that makes families grateful.  The main benefit, however, is improved patient outcomes.

Through the home evaluations, we can bring weaknesses more to light and patients become more willing to work on them.  When we do the home evaluation, they really understand that their therapy is a focused effort towards a deficit that they have and that they’ve seen themselves in their home environment.  The outcomes are better, the families are happier, and we feel better about sending someone home into an environment that we’ve assessed and adapted.  We know that there will be a decreased risk of falls and that they know how to call 911 or life alert from home.  We know that we’ve set up a system that they can be successful in.  The ultimate goal is to try and guide the patient in reestablishing their usual activities and make recommendations that will enable the patient to resume former activities within a safe environment.  Recommendations for adaptive equipment (i.e. reacher, sock aide) or durable medical equipment (i.e. shower bench, raised toilet seat) may be made.  By making necessary modifications to the home environment, educating the patient and family and implementing a treatment program, the patient will succeed in living more independently and improve the quality of their life.




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