I love providing Physical Therapy to my patients, but I have been frustrated with one area of home-based care–Caregiver Education/Training. Several barriers have limited my ability to provide quality continuity of care. One, when I am treating a patient in the home, the caregiver, usually a C.N.A., is busy doing other important tasks (laundry, meal preparation, preparing for personal care–shower, bath) and cannot watch/learn how I easily transfer, lift, or use equipment (wheelchairs, transfer boards, walker) to manage fall/injury risks while promoting a patient to achieve his/her optimal level of INDEPENDENCE. I frequently have caregivers ask, “How did you get him/her up so fast and easy; it takes me almost 15 minutes to do what you just did in 5 minutes!” Another barrier occurs when the patient gets overwhelmed and does not want ANY ONE around to watch him/her during therapy sessions. I have discovered, most family members and C.N.A’s desperately want to learn how to provide better care, increase/encourage independence, and prevent falls; however, the opportunity to learn is limited by patient dynamics, conflicting schedules, and careers outside-of-the-home. Obviously, the window of opportunity is small!
SOLUTION: Tips from a PT was designed with the following mission: reach out to ALL caregivers (both C.N.A’s in the home/nursing home/skilled nursing facility/assisted living facility/hospitals and family members responsible for the daily home care and make it easier/safer through tips and easy-to-follow instructions. Let’s make caring for an aging loved one/client easier by working together–please leave comments, read posts, research options, and ask questions throughout this website. I look forward to making a difference in your home!
Shawna, PT, MPT