Physical therapist helping patient for Avamere and Infinity Rehab

October 17, 2018

Taking a shower, grocery shopping, and cooking are basic activities most people take for granted. These and other everyday living responsibilities just come naturally for most. For others, completing these daily tasks is difficult, even impossible for some.

That was the case for one Signature Healthcare at Home patient. In a letter to employees, the patient shared how much Physical Therapist Dan Ernest and Occupational Therapist Katie Danforth impacted their life.

“If it wasn’t for their experience and expertise, I wouldn’t be in my home today,” the patient said. “I would be in assisted living.”

The patient said each session was new and challenging and the home assignments were exciting.

With the therapists’ help, this patient was able to meet their goals – goals that allowed them to be able to thrive in their home and in their life.

“I used to love to cook, and it was a bit scary at first,” the patient said. “But with [my therapist’s] positive reinforcement and new strength … I now can not only cook for myself and others, but am able to bend, get the cookware and dishes I need, and use the dishwasher again.”

The patient noted other goals they were proud to reach, including standing in the shower, grocery shopping and taking garbage to the curb.

“I am now the ‘Queen of Garbage,’” the patient stated in their letter.

The patient shared their gratitude for the two therapists.

“I am able to enjoy my home, be with friends, shop for groceries, and feel good,” the patient said. “I wouldn’t be doing any of this without Dan and Katie.”

This is what physical therapists do. They make real differences in their patients’ lives. It’s more than helping them regain physical strength. It’s about helping people thrive in their home.

What it really takes

What people see vs. what physical therapists really do

Stories like this patient’s is what people see on the surface. They see the results. But physical therapists do so much more.

In between sessions, physical therapists are researching and meeting with fellow therapists to determine how to create the best care plan for their patients.

“You have to hit the books if something stumps you,” Signature Healthcare at Home Therapy Manager and physical therapist Tony Braga said. “Knowing how to navigate research is what makes a good clinician.”

Signature Healthcare at Home physical therapists combine their efforts to help their patients. Braga and his fellow therapists hold daily conference calls to collaborate regarding their patients. They also gather together in person once a week for an Interdisciplinary Team Approach where they discuss what is working, what isn’t, and provide feedback.  It’s a team effort to help their patients overcome whatever obstacles they’re facing.

What makes the work worthwhile

Physical therapists put in an enormous amount of work that not everyone notices, but the results are worth it.

Suffering from pain or injury is devastating physically and psychologically, Braga said. Being a part of a patient’s recovery process is what makes all the research, studying and work worth all the effort.

“To see them progress, to see their energy change, to be a part of that and facilitate someone with that degree of function and help them thrive in their own domain – that’s powerful,” Braga stated.

Thank you to all our physical therapists and assistants with Signature Healthcare at Home and around the world. We at Avamere Family of Companies appreciate all you have done and all you continue to do for patients and their families!

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