Could closer co-operation between neuro physiotherapists and care homes improve stroke patient outcomes?

Prominent welsh neuro physiotherapist Sara Davis is calling for improved co-operation between care homes and private neuro physiotherapists, which she believes could improve stroke outcomes for elderly residents.

Many patients, particularly elderly stroke patients are discharged to private care homes after treatment for a stroke and for some, their treatment ends there.  These residents require extensive full time care which is expensive and challenging to provide.

While NHS treatments may continue as an outpatient when a patient is living in a care home,  closer links to private community neuro physiotherapists could deliver key benefits for both care homes and the residents who live in them.

Carers may be unaware that, after discharge from hospital, additional rehabilitation and physiotherapy treatment is possible – and often, such treatment will see the patient continue to recover mobility and function, requiring less intensive care and enjoying a more active life.

Care homes should be a centre of expertise for managing elderly care.  Many of the residents will, by nature of the facility, have suffered stroke or have some other neurological disorder and there are benefits for both the care home and of course the resident in recovering as much function and ability as possible – the more ability a patient has, the easier they will be to care for and the better their quality of life.

When we work directly with care homes, we are able to deliver weekly exercise classes for residents.  Residents enjoy the break from the routine that the class gives them,and we’ve seen improvement in residents general mobility and stamina.

We are also able to work with residents on a one-to-one basis within the care home, something resident’s family members are often happy to pay for.

Many private neurophysiotherapy clinics will, like Neuro Physio Wales, have advanced Bobath trained therapists who specialise in the treatment of stroke rehabilitation, and in addition to skilled, specialist staff,  at Neuro Physio Wales, we can offer the latest in upper and lower limb rehabilitation technology.

Care home operators may not be aware of the huge advances in technology over recent years – even years after a stroke, with the right exercises and access to technology, we are starting to see clients recover lost function, as we work with care homes and individuals across South Wales.  I’d like to see these benefits being accessible to more residents in care homes.

I believe every care home resident deserves the chance to recover to their optimum potential, and closer collaboration between care homes and private neurophysiotherapists is a vital step towards achieving this.