For October’s nationwide Physical therapy Month, we identify the caring, committed therapists the HopeHealth Visiting Nurse.

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Barbara Schwartz the Smithfield, RI, is a go-getter with locations to go and also things to do.

The 89-year-old is nearby to she husband that 67 years and three children. She reads a lot, socializes with friends in she retirement community, and also attends synagogue as component of her solid faith.

When someone desire Barbara a an excellent day, she replies, “Oh, I’ll do it a an excellent day!”

This year, though, most days have been tough. After ~ a health crisis with her esophagus, Barbara lost 65 pounds and was therefore weak she could barely leaving bed.

She’s getting ago on track through the aid of Ellen Gardner, DPT, a physics therapist with HopeHealth Visiting Nurse.

“Ellen’s mine mentor,” Barbara says. “She encouraged me to gain stronger every day. We became great friends and also I think the world of her.”

“It’s not just about the diagnosis or medicine, it’s around tapping into what renders a person a person—what’s their story?”

Practicing physical treatment in house care


Physical therapists are experts in movement. In home care, they assist patients who space recovering from surgery or living v a chronic disease that impairs mobility.

Contrary come the old adage, the main focus of physical treatment is no “no pain, no gain.” as Ellen explains, “Therapy is around living her life. Girlfriend don’t have to stop living, you just need to carry out things in different ways. We’re trying come teach you how to heal and move forward.”

Ellen functioned in a trauma hospital for many years before coming come HopeHealth. She prefers the an individual setting of house care due to the fact that she can obtain to recognize her patients.

“It’s not just about the diagnosis or medicine, it’s about tapping into what renders a human a person—what’s your story?” claims Ellen. She believes seeing patients in their natural habitat outcomes in better care.

For example, an outpatient therapist might send someone house with a walker that doesn’t fit quickly through entry in an apartment. In this case, a home treatment therapist would certainly flip the wheel to the inside, which renders the help safer and an ext useful.

“When you’re at a person’s house, you have the right to really customize the setup to satisfy their needs. It’s much less of a one dimension fits all,” Ellen says.

Ellen empowers she patients come take ownership of their recovery.

When “why” means more than “what”


Physical therapy have the right to be hard, and also not everyone will certainly commit just due to the fact that an experienced says it’s great for them.

Therapists empower patients come take property of your recovery, set meaningful goals and understand not only what they must do but additionally the factors for doing it.

By acquisition time come listen, Ellen to learn what her patients treatment about. “I can say, ‘If you perform this exercise, you deserve to see your granddaughter’s softball game.’ then they affix the dots,” she says.

Direct yet compassionate indict can also be motivating. Ellen learned among her patients stopped meeting she friends because that lunch due to the fact that she was embarrassed to be viewed in public v a walker.

“I said, ‘Would you fairly sit home and also feel alone, or it is in with human being who enjoy your company and aid you feeling young again? stop practice getting in and out the the auto with the walker until you feeling confident doing it,’” Ellen recalls.

“We treatment for the whole person.”

The evolving task of physical therapist

The duty of physical therapist in health care has expanded due to the fact that 2013 as soon as the American Physical therapy Association updated its vision. Today brand-new practitioners must have a doctorate level to practice physical therapy, a authorize of their wider medical expertise.

“We treatment for the totality person,” Ellen says.


Barbara agrees: “Ellen is really knowledgeable and also explains everything to me. I like that.”

For example, physical therapists conduct plenty of first-visit assessments (called join visits) for home treatment patients v joint replacements. In the past, the was specifically the role of a nurse.

Home care therapists likewise keep clock for any kind of mobility-impairing side results of medication and also call a visiting nurse if lock spot a red flag. “Even though we’re working independently, we’re not alone,” Ellen says.

Slowly however surely, Ellen has actually helped Barbara build up she strength and also balance come resume law the things she loves come do. As soon as bedridden, today Barbara is ago visiting friends and picking increase rides come synagogue.

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“It feels an excellent when you’ve really aided to hopefully make a distinction in somebody’s life,” Ellen says.

Questions about physical therapy? contact us this particular day at (800) 696-7991 or Information