It’s no secret that times are pretty tough right now. As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, we’re seeing more and more industries being hit heavily, putting a strain on the economy as well as our sense of normalcy. This virus is especially impacting the healthcare systems as those working on the frontlines are trying to balance care with social distancing guidelines. We’re seeing this especially prevalent in the physical therapy industry. Most physical therapists obviously prefer to work in a hands-on setting to help patients with recovery. However, as the social distancing guidelines grow, we’re seeing more and more PTs forced to help recovery from afar. Luckily, there are some tips for at-home physical therapy that should help both patients and physical therapists. Even after we get through this pandemic, this at-home physical therapy tips can still provide guidance! Let’s take a look below.
At-Home Physical Therapy Tips
One of the biggest aspects of at-home physical therapy is accountability. Times are tough right now, and many people are navigating unemployment, taking care of kids that are now at home, and a variety of other things. Even though it’s absolutely necessary, physical therapy might be the last thing they’re thinking of while navigating this tough situation. It’s also possible they simply don’t feel confident conducting physical therapy on their own.
This is why having some virtual check-ins via phone or video can help. This can range from a simple phone call asking how they’re feeling and answering any questions they might have, to actually going over the therapy exercise via a video call. Regardless, you can help at-home physical therapy despite not seeing your patient in person.
Try to Make it Fun
Let’s be honest, no matter who you are, being stuck at home for this amount of time is bound to make anyone go a little stir crazy. There’s only so much TV you can watch or games of solitaire you can play before you feel the boredom setting in. Try to suggest some ways to add some fun into your patient’s at-home physical therapy.
One suggestion we have is to have your patient play some music while he or she is working out. This is a great way to add some fun into their routine. Another way you can make physical therapy more fun is to get the family involved. Even if they’re not rehabbing an injury or ailment, it’s a great way to get the rest of the people in the household to stay active!
Another great motivation tool is to set goals. Many of your patients will be goal-oriented, and these goals will give them something to look forward to. Have them set small, daily or weekly goals. Things like “complete all exercises by the end of the week,” or “be able to lift X amount of pounds with an injured arm.” These will help motivate patients as they work to get back on his or her feet. Long-term goals should also be made.
Patients should obviously be aware of the healthcare and virus spread guidelines. However, it’s important that you stress the importance of social distancing to them and keeping healthy. Their body is already helping to rehab an injury, which can compromise the immune system. One of the biggest home physical therapy tips will be to reduce the risk of getting other illnesses on top of the injury. Make sure they know to stay inside and to avoid people who were potentially exposed. This will help make the process smooth and as painless as possible.
What are some other at-home physical therapy tips that you recommend? Comment them below!