By Dana O’Donnell, RN

When preparing for surgery, the thought of rehabilitation and recovery can be intimidating. How will you regain you regain your mobility and independence, and stay safe in your home? At-Home rehabilitation is an option that may be recommended by your doctor after a surgery to help you reach your recovery goals.

Following surgery, your doctor will determine what type of rehabilitation is needed. One of these options is a home-care referral. A registered nurse from the home-care agency will schedule a visit to your home to assess what services will benefit you the most. Services can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and home health services.

During your first visit, the physical therapist will assess your home for safety and make recommendations such as removing throw rugs and clutter or adjusting furniture.

The physical therapist will also asses your functional mobility, balance and strength to learn about you, and will develop a plan of care to help you recover. The goal of rehabilitation is to help you regain the level of strength, mobility and independence that you had before surgery, and to keep you safe at home.

The amount of rehabilitation and length and frequency of visits is different for everyone. A variety of factors including the style of home that you live in, your medical history, and the type of surgery determine how much therapy is needed. The exercises and therapy that are prescribed will vary depending on the type of surgery and your progress.

Rehabilitation and recovery do not stop when the therapist leaves for the day. Your therapist will give you “homework,” a sheet of exercises to be performed a set number of times per day, which will change as you progress. Your therapist will also provide caregiver education, so that your spouse, child, or other caregivers will understand how to help you and keep you safe.

At-home rehabilitation is part of a continuum of care. Once you are able to leave your home, you will begin outpatient rehabilitation, and will continue your recovery journey.

For more information about at-home rehabilitation, contact Dana O’Donnell, Director of Liberty at Home at 215-643-6335 ext. 147.


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