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In-home Physical Therapy for the Elderly: What It Is and How to Get It

Physiotherapist working with happy senior patient at home

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

April 12, 2021


Many senior adults in Richmond, VA know about physical therapy but may be unaware that there are physical therapists that make house calls. If you’re wondering, “Do physical therapists come to your home?” you’re in the right place.

Do you need professional help to regain muscular strength or mobility?

Do you know about physical therapy home visits?

Are you aware of the benefits of home PT?

Once you enter your senior years, injuries sustained after a fall, stroke, or similar incident can restrict your usual range of mobility. This decrease in functional mobility can inhibit your ability to perform daily activities, move around, or live independently. Fortunately, there are ways to regain your strength, flexibility, and range of motion so that you can get back to the daily tasks and activities you’re used to doing.

In this article, we’re helping aging adults understand more about in-home physical therapy. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of private physical therapy at home for seniors.

 

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy (PT) is a health service provided by trained physical therapists. Physical therapists spend three years in graduate school learning about the body, muscles, movements, and ways for people to regain physical performance. 

Most commonly, physical therapists work with individuals who have recently had surgery or another event that has caused movement limitations. A physical therapist will take time to understand the person’s needs and create a personalized care plan. Through the process of physical therapy, individuals can regain strength and mobility.

Historically, most patients receive physical therapy at outpatient clinics. These clinics require the patient receiving physical therapy to find transportation or drive to their appointment. More recently, however, home-based physical therapy has become more accessible.

 

In-Home Physical Therapy

Home PT is similar to PT provided at an outpatient clinic, except that the physical therapist drives to the patient’s home. A physical therapist who comes to your house diagnoses you and works with you in the comfort and privacy of your home. 

Aging adults that can benefit from PT at home include those that:

  • Don’t have adequate transportation
  • Have an acute or severe condition that inhibits them from leaving home
  • Have limited functional mobility that keeps them from traveling
  • Simply desire private physical therapy at home

If you fall into any of the above categories, physical therapy home visits may be a good option for you. To help you further understand if physical therapy at home is right for you, here are some of the top home PT questions with answers.

 

Who Needs Home-based Physical Therapy?

Many groups of elderly adults can benefit from physical therapy, including those who have experienced:

  • Major surgery (e.g., total hip or knee replacement)
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • A cardiac event (e.g., heart attack)
  • Arthritis or degenerative joint/bone conditions
  • Fractured or broken bones

Your doctor can also help you decide if you’re a good candidate for in-home physical therapy. 

 

Does Insurance Cover In-home Physical Therapy?

Federal health insurance programs, like Medicare, cover home health services including physical therapy under qualifying circumstances. However, it’s best to check your summary of benefits or call your insurance provider to verify whether you’re covered for in-home physical therapy.

If your insurance does provide financial relief for private home PT, it’s wise to start scheduling physical therapy home visits. Even if your insurance doesn’t help pay for at-home physical therapy, it may still be a good investment to pay out-of-pocket for physical therapy, especially if your doctor recommends it.

 

What Are the Benefits of Home PT?

Doing physical therapy at home can provide many benefits for seniors. Home PT offers:

  • Comfort. First and foremost, PT at home allows you to receive care in a familiar environment. Home can be a more comfortable place to practice physical exercises than a clinic you’ve never been to before.
  • Privacy. In-home physical therapy also provides a level of privacy that’s usually not available in a more public clinic.
  • Accessibility. For those who can’t safely leave home or don’t have access to transportation, home PT is an excellent option.

If any of these benefits sound attractive to you, doing PT at home might be a valuable alternative for you or any senior in need of PT.

 

What Can I Expect From Physical Therapy in My Home?

Each individual is different and has different needs. 

The first thing you can expect from an in-home PT visit is a comprehensive evaluation. When a PT comes to your home for the first time, they’ll take time to talk with you. The PT will ask questions about your current health and physical conditions. They may perform some simple procedures or ask you to perform light activities. All of this will help the physical therapist create a customized plan for you.

During subsequent visits, the PT will show you how to perform physical exercises to help you regain strength and mobility. These activities may include stretches, movements, or hands-on care from the physical therapist. The PT may also teach you some stretches or exercises to perform on your own.

As you progress in your treatment, the physical therapist will adjust the plan as necessary. Listening to your PT and doing what they say will ultimately lead to positive results in your functional mobility.

 

The Best Private Physical Therapy at Home in Richmond, VA

Physical therapy is a health service administered by trained physical therapists. Physical therapists understand the body and how it moves. They can help people who are struggling with functional mobility to regain strength and mobility. Physical therapy is especially beneficial for seniors as they age and experience life events that affect their functional mobility.

For some seniors, getting to and from a physical therapy appointment may be difficult. Do physical therapists come to your home?

Yes, there are physical therapists that make house calls. These physical therapists will drive to the client’s home. In-home physical therapy is no different from PT administered in a health care facility and may offer a better experience for some older adults. provides elderly adults with access to physical therapy in the comfort and safety of their homes.

Are you looking to schedule private physical therapy at home in Richmond, VA?

Commonwise Home Care is a home care agency providing expert in-home care and physical therapy to aging adults in Charlottesville and Richmond, VA. When you choose us as your in-home physical therapy provider, you’ll get access to graduate-level physical therapists. Their goal is to build a long-term relationship with you while providing excellent care. They’ll help you create a customized Care Plan that reflects your unique needs. 

Contact us to learn more about in-home care or home PT. We’re excited to help you get back to independent living.

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