Exercise, for many, is an activity that we love to hate; and this notion is reinforced by the findings which show that on average, only 45% of Canadian adults meet the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity1.
Seniors, in particular, may feel reluctant to engage in physical activity and work with a physiotherapist but embracing private physiotherapy in-home or within the hospital setting can be a game-changer. While not widely publicized due to liability concerns, our team has successfully navigated this terrain to foster a unique synergy that benefits both patients and healthcare institutions alike – especially during the crucial period post-discharge.
Together, let’s explore why this route is one worth exploring:
Waiting Less to Progress More (Independently)
With a key aspiration for seniors being to retain their independence and enjoy life on their terms – whether that means taking a stroll in the park, travelling, or pursuing a cherished hobby – private physiotherapy serves to provide them with a greater sense of self-reliance to tackle daily tasks.
Despite Canadian governments paying for 72% of all health care in 2022, and only 11% being paid by patients out of pocket – 15% through private health insurance and 2% through other sources2 – often, patients find themselves in limbo, waiting for publicly funded physiotherapy services.
This delay can exacerbate a patient’s condition with further regression, hinder recovery, and even lead to readmissions. By incorporating private physiotherapists, hospitals can significantly decrease the wait time for patients upon discharge, ensuring they continue their rehabilitation seamlessly from the comfort of their homes.
Elevating the Economy and Patient Well-Being
According to Statistics Canada, around 15% of Canadians experience an injury each year that is serious enough to limit their normal activities. With Health Canada estimating that achievement of just a 1% reduction in the number of Canadians living with chronic pain could translate into annual savings of up to $188.5 million in direct healthcare costs and more than $232 million in indirect costs by 2030, the benefits of witnessing an uptick of private physiotherapy in hospitals are evident.
Private physiotherapists empower patients to achieve their rehabilitation goals sooner, fostering a sense of satisfaction that resonates throughout the healthcare system. As they work in tandem with hospital staff, a personalized approach that targets individual patient needs is created to promote faster recovery, instill confidence in the healthcare process, and prove that patient-centred care is not just a buzzword but rather the cornerstone of a robust and successful healthcare model.
Moreover, given that social isolation can negatively impact seniors’ mental and physical health, integrating private physiotherapy in hospitals can combat this; be it through 1-on-1 strengthening programs or group sessions with other seniors, these opportunities foster camaraderie and belonging.
A Win-Win for Patients and Hospitals
A critical aspect of this collaboration is its potential to alleviate the caseload burden on hospital staff. Post-COVID, over 42% of Canadians felt that their local hospital was so overwhelmed that they couldn’t trust them to provide suddenly needed medical care5.
With hospitals often grappling with overwhelming caseloads and struggling to provide timely, adequate and consistent physiotherapy sessions, adding private physiotherapists to the equation not only allows hospitals to better manage their resources but also ensures that patients receive more frequent physiotherapy sessions.
Furthermore, it mitigates the increased risk of of secondary complications such as bed sores, deconditioning and muscle atrophy, or respiratory complications patients face by helping them maintain functional mobility, muscle strength and vitals – thus acting as a shield against potential diseases. It’s a proactive step that can add more quality years to a one’s life while triggering a domino effect of reduced hospital length of stay – a metric of paramount importance in the current landscape of healthcare efficiency.
Is Your Prescription Running Low?
The reservations surrounding the engagement of private physiotherapists are primarily rooted in liability concerns but these apprehensions can be addressed through robust contractual agreements and careful selection of qualified physiotherapy professionals.
From enabling seniors to retain their independence to enjoy life on their terms, to combating social isolation that can significantly impact their mental health and overall well-being, and encouraging regular physical activity to prevent a host of common diseases, the integration of private physiotherapy providers into hospital settings represents a paradigm shift in patient care.
The tangible advantages of reduced wait times, accelerated rehabilitation, and decreased caseloads underscore the potential of this collaborative approach. If you’re seeking a prescription for healthier, happier, and more fulfilling golden years, we’re happy to top you up.