Over time, your loved one’s level of care might increase, especially if they have Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or Parkinson’s. They might begin by receiving a few hours of housekeeping or companion services, but gradually require more assistance. To make sure your parent is getting the best care possible to match their needs, you might want to consider adding additional health care aides that specialize in therapy to your loved one’s plan of care. How do you go about finding the most effective caregivers for your loved one’s situation?
When adding additional services and aides onto your love one’s non-medical plan of care, ask your home health care provider what care options they offer. While many in home care agencies offer non-medical and medical care services, you should look for aides that will help seniors live as independently as possible. When consulting your home care agency or seeking a new one to fit your loved one’s needs, look for the following in home therapy services to improve their care and quality of life:
- Physical Therapy
In home physical therapy focuses on physical rehabilitation for those recovering from an injury or illness. If your parent is recovering from an accident, such as a fall, and needs assistance with walking, transferring, and mobility, in home physical therapy for seniors might be a beneficial service. A trained physical therapist can develop a program to help your loved one work on their strength, endurance, agility, balance, and coordination. These services help reduce the risk of falling, arthritis, and broken bones from happening or recurring.
Regular exercise benefits those with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease as physical activity can improve memory, mobility, posture, balance, and coordination. If your loved one is having difficulty with walking on uneven ground or stairs, in home physical therapy can help muscles respond to changes in the environment. General exercise may also reduce depression.
- Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy at home can improve your loved one’s independence by enabling them to do daily activities that might be challenging. If your loved one needs assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, or eating, an occupational therapist could teach them alternative methods to perform each task. Occupational therapists can evaluate homes and give suggestions on how to make the residence safer and easier for the occupant to navigate by creating new routines or adding equipment.
Whether your parent has Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or simply needs assistance with mobility, an occupational therapist can help. For example, a therapist might suggest adding railings in the bathroom and a wall-mounted shower seat to assist with balance, mobility, and fatigue during bathing and toileting. To aid with dressing, the therapist might suggest switching to Velcro or elastic shoe laces instead of tying laces.
In home occupational therapy can also help family caregivers come up with strategies to manage difficult behavior or confusion that may occur because of stress or cognitive changes due to Alzheimer’s. The therapist might propose adding labels to drawers so your loved one knows where objects are in their room. Regardless of your situation, at home occupational therapy can help relieve stress for both you and your loved one.
- Speech Therapy
In home speech therapy addresses communication problems, memory loss and swallowing dysfunctions. If your loved one is having trouble expressing themselves, is recovering from a stroke, or having trouble in taking food and liquids, a speech therapist can create a comprehensive treatment plan to help increase their quality of life.
For those with Alzheimer’s, in home speech therapy treatment plans can focus on comprehension skills for written and verbal communication, or cognitive statutes that include memory, orientation, and reasons skills. Difficulty swallowing can also be a huge dilemma for both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients. A speech therapist pathologist can assist with oral muscle strength and functionally, allowing for better control while speaking, eating and drinking.
If you love one needs more comprehensive care to increase the quality of their life, make sure your home health care provider has senior therapy services available. Adding a physical, occupational, or speech therapist to your care team can help your loved one function at the highest level possible for as long as possible.