What to expect with your first IRG On-Demand Home Visit
Published - Jan 04, 2021
In case you haven’t heard, house calls are making a comeback in healthcare, and IRG is fully on board. This model of care that was common in the 1930s has seen a sudden boom in popularity for good reason. The fastest-growing age group in the US are those 85 years and older, who may have difficulty with transportation to appointments or impairments that increase the risk of falls with getting out in the community. On the other hand, long commutes and work hours for those a bit younger can also make it hard to keep up with appointments at a clinic. With the COVID-19 pandemic, home visits are a great way to socially distance and keep potential exposure to a minimum. IRG On-Demand allows physical therapists to perform outpatient treatment in the comfort of your home, as an alternative to visiting one of our outpatient clinics.
Some of the diagnoses that are especially advantageous to treat at home due to the nature of the condition include:
- History of falls or poor balance
- Neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
- Pain-related to work-from-home setup
- Pre- and post-surgery
As a physical therapist, my biggest role is to improve my patients’ quality of life, allowing them to participate more actively in the things they love to do. Often, the things we love to do (or need to do) are at home - working from home, gardening, cooking, cleaning, walking or caring for pets or kids. My favorite part about treating patients in their homes through IRG On-Demand is that I can work on immediately improving real-life situations that are difficult and show the patient how to easily integrate their exercises into their daily home routine.
A question that I receive frequently from patients is “how is an On-Demand visit different from a clinic visit?” In reality, it’s not that different at all. Before I arrive at a patient’s home, I ask that they decide what area of the home they want to conduct the majority of the treatment. Most choose a larger area, such as the living room. When I arrive, I am wearing my mask and I ask a few questions to ensure no recent COVID exposure and symptoms, the same as in a clinic. Once in the patient’s home, I wash my hands and set up and sanitize my portable treatment table. My evaluation is dependent on the diagnosis, but most often it involves me looking at the patient’s movements and muscle/joint function in seated and standing positions. If there are any hands-on techniques that would benefit the patient, such as myofascial release or spinal manipulation, I’ll perform those on the portable treatment table. Once I’ve identified the areas that need improvement to help the patient reach their goals, I’ll introduce a few exercises to start performing at home. Most of them are easy to perform without equipment and often utilize the patient’s furniture or counters for support. I also have resistance bands in my bag, so I can set those up in the patient’s home if necessary for their exercise routine.
IRG On-Demand is a great option for anyone who has difficulty getting to a clinic, who is more at-risk for COVID-19, or who simply wants safe, convenient physical therapy treatment from the comfort of their home. Contact us at 206.887.9715 or click here to learn more about IRG On-Demand or to request an appointment with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable physical therapists.
Written by: Holli O'Kelley, DPT