Optimising health at home

 

Every year more and more Australians are being diagnosed with long term illness or chronic disease. The most recent statistics provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed that 1 in 2 Australians had 1 or more chronic conditions that need regular medical input. Unfortunately, recent articles have highlighted that people diagnosed with ongoing medical conditions are not seeking treatment due to recent the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has caused a shift in our regular medical model, making it difficult to prioritise our health and wellbeing. Introduction of Telehealth services and inclusion of home healthcare has aimed to maintain optimal health and medical support to those most vulnerable during this tough time.

Recent access to health and medical practices has been challenging with closures, altered times and limit of person-to-person contact. Community spaces and events have changed drastically; seeing the closing of gyms and exercises classes, limitations of daily exercise durations and recreational activities. Individuals with chronic conditions are fearful of getting unwell after leaving their home and have been instructed to stay home as they are higher risk of mortality. They are unable to attend appointments and perform necessary exercise or rehabilitation. These changes have provided barriers to essential healthcare and adds layers of complexity to maintaining good health outcomes.

If good health practice is not maintained there will be a large increase in disease burden. We will begin to see a decline in health status, function and run the risk of deconditioning for our ageing and chronically ill populations.

It is during these dark times we have seen home healthcare practices like mobile rehabilitation or services like Telehealth flourish. These services allow providers and patients to continually interact whilst usual healthcare methods (clinic interactions) are put on hold. The obvious drawcard for mobile rehabilitation is that you don’t need to leave your home. A practitioner can come to your place and perform a consultation like what would normally occur in the clinical or rehabilitation setting. Education and advice, exercise prescription and treatment can all be provided. The same can be said for Telehealth.

Telehealth has gained huge traction since doctors have started using it recently. It allows you to consult a health or medical professional from your home over a phone, tablet or computer. Health practitioners can keep in regular contact to check up with you and perform necessary therapies if needed. Many applications like widely used PhysiApp can be used in conjunction and assist in running through your rehabilitation exercises.

Research has already shown a multitude of benefits for Telehealth and mobile rehabilitation services. Patients are reporting improved health outcomes, effectiveness for adherence to exercise programs, constant access to needed healthcare, cost saving and reduced effort. Home based healthcare can help maintain health status while keeping at risk individuals safe and mitigate anxiety and fear that might come with participating in the community.

With COVID 19 looking set to stay into the near future, home rehabilitation and Telehealth services have shown how effective they can be as a solution to providing healthcare. This might become the ‘new’ way consultations are performed to remove any challenges or complexities to accessing health services to maintain good health and wellness.

If you want to find out more about how telehealth or home visits could work for you, contact our team today!

 

Written by Physiotherapist Jacob Payne

Jacob graduated from Griffith University in 2016 with a Masters of Physiotherapy following a Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sports Science in 2014.

He has spent the majority of his career working in private practice and sports physiotherapy, developing particular interests in musculoskeletal, post-operative and neurological rehabilitation. Jacob is highly motivated to help each patient reach their desired goals.

Jacob is available for home visits and telehealth consultations.