When illness or injury makes it challenging for someone to return to their previous level of activity, the healthcare at home physical therapist can be a lifesaver.
These devoted medical professionals are highly educated and specially trained to evaluate and help people improve movement and reduce pain. While many people may not immediately think of physical therapy when considering healthcare at home, it is an essential part of the services offered.
World Physical Therapy Day is September 8, 2022. It’s a perfect time to shine a spotlight on physical therapists and the important work they do.
At Intrepid USA, there are many outstanding physical therapists who are beloved by their colleagues and those they help. Two of these incredible professionals are Shaun Goulbourne in Columbia, Kentucky, and Jessica Bolling in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.
“I have a strong coaching, strength, and conditioning personal training background, and I bring that to my 80-year-old patients,” said Goulbourne, who has worked with Intrepid USA for five years. “I think my biggest contribution to my patients is just mentally letting them know that they can do this and more.”
He said the process of helping people improve their physical condition is simple: Try to do a little more than the day before, or the visit before.
“I help them move a lot better and gain confidence in their abilities,” Goulbourne said. “I often hear, ‘Shaun, you have more confidence in what I can do than even I do.’”
With consistent work and a positive rehabilitation partner by their side, individuals receiving healthcare at home can make great strides toward their former level of wellness.
Goulbourne said many of those he assists in the home setting are pessimistic about what physical therapy can do, pointing to their advancing age.
“I say, ‘Well, what could you do two years ago? If we can do what you did two years ago, you’ll be younger,’” he said.
Bolling, who has worked with Intrepid USA for eight years, said restoring a person’s function looks different from individual to individual.
“We want to restore their function inside the home so they can be as independent and safe as they possibly can,” she said. “Some people look to be able to go outside and get their mail, while others want to get back to driving and babysitting grandchildren. Some just want to get out of bed – it’s not a cookie-cutter process.”
“There’s a personal touch that’s very rewarding that I don’t think you’d get in any other setting,” Goulbourne said.
Bolling agreed and added that one of the best parts of her position is seeing patients improve enough to be discharged from her service.
“You want to get the person better and get to discharge,” she said. “But we get so close to them, and I hate to tell them goodbye. I tell them I hope I don’t have to see them again.”
For Bolling, the chance to help people regain function is not a job – it’s a calling.
“I don’t think I see myself doing anything other than home health physical therapy,” Bolling said. “I love it. I love the patients. Everybody is cut out for one certain thing, and this is mine.”
Goulbourne, who is training to compete in an Ironman Triathlon in September, has advice for people to avoid requiring his expertise for as long as possible.
“I think siting in a chair is the worst thing we can do as human beings – it changes our body, tightens certain muscles, makes our core weaker,” he said. “The more we do that, the more physical problems we get into, so let’s stay out of the chair as much as possible as long as we can.”
Do you or a loved one need help at home? Email email@example.com now to learn how we can alleviate stress and provide individuals with the highest quality of life.