When limiting their focus to community-dwelling seniors living with dementia (CDSLD), the researchers found four studies encompassing 243 participants. Interventions were multi-factorial and included teaching caregivers to lead home exercise programs that ranged in frequency from once per week to three times per week. Overall, the fall prevention programs reduced the risk of falls by 32% for CDSLD. The meta-analysis reports in-home exercise programs were more effective than group-based exercise programs. When prescribing rehab for CDSLD, it may be helpful to manage expectations. While the rehab programs significantly reduced the rate of geriatric functional decline compared to control groups, both control groups and rehab groups continued to experience functional decline. This differs from senior populations without dementia, where in-home rehab programs have been shown to reverse even long-standing geriatric disability.¹⁰
In addition to exercise therapy to improve strength, balance, and mobility, interventions included foot health, medication management, vision assessments, walking aids, footwear consultation, and home hazard reduction. With a multi-disciplinary home health approach, Five Star Home Health stands prepared to implement such programs for your patients. Combining physical therapy, occupational therapy, and skilled nursing gives Five Star Home Health an advantage in performing medication reconciliation, foot care, and certain activities modifications – compared to physical therapy alone. Visiting your patient’s home enhances care by enabling clinicians to personally review medicine cabinets and pantries for medications and supplements, closets for clothing consultation, and the home environment in general for hazard reduction. Having therapists visit the home on a regular schedule can help improve adherence compared to having caregivers transport patients to outpatient rehab. For homebound seniors, Medicare pays Five Star Home Health 100% of allowable charges for skilled home health services, and this further increases the likelihood of adherence to the doctor’s recommendations.
Providing Both Interim and Long-Term Home Care