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Monday, 21 October 2013 12:36

Who can qualify for Home Physical Therapy?

iStock 000020827295XSmallI recently received a call from a gentleman asking about the criteria to qualify for home physical therapy. He was inquiring on behalf of his 79 year old mother. She was living independently in her own home, but has had 3 falls in the past year. She now uses a walker most of the time and he was worried that she the next time she falls she may break a bone. As we talked, he shared that his mother has always been very active and goes out 4-5 times per week for appointments and social events, but is no longer able to drive.

I told her son that it sounds as if she would definitely benefit from physical therapy to improve her balance and strength. She is at a high risk for having continued falls without therapy intervention. However, I recommended she ask her doctor for a referral to an outpatient physical therapy clinic. Because she goes out several times a week, Medicare will not cover Home Physical Therapy. Medicare and several other insurance companies only cover home therapy if it is difficult and taxing for a person to go out, and he/she requires assistance to leave the home. A typical person receiving Home Physical Therapy may go out for doctor appointments, religious services and occasional family events, but he/she would need someone to help them safely get in and out of the house.

Do you know someone who isn't quite as steady on their feet as they used to be? Do you know someone who struggles to do his/her daily activities, or gets easily winded? A few visits of Physical Therapy may be the answer.

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