Many medically-challenged children need ongoing therapy to help cope with their conditions and optimize their development. Parents can have this therapy done at a hospital or clinic, or they can choose in-home long-term pediatric care. At-home care is an increasingly popular option because of the advantages it offers.
Pediatric therapists work with children in several different areas. Some of the primary services offered may include:
Physical Therapy: This helps children build strength and improve motor function, balance, and coordination. A wide range of pediatric conditions can be helped by physical therapy, including children with:
- Neurological Conditions (e.g., cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, etc.)
- Gait Abnormalities
- Developmental Delays
- Genetic Disorders
- Orthopedic Conditions (e.g., sports injuries, fractures, etc.)
Occupational Therapy: This helps children improve visual and fine motor skills, upper extremity strength and coordination, self-care skills, social and peer interaction skills, handwriting, and many others. Occupational therapy helps kids who have, or are at risk of having developmental delays.
Speech Therapy: This helps to improve both verbal and non-verbal skills. Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to:
- Feeding and Swallowing
- Receptive and Expressive Language
- Oral Motor Skills
- Auditory Processing
The Benefits of In-Home Pediatric Care
Many home health agencies provide pediatric therapy at the home of the child. There are several advantages to conducting this therapy where the child lives, learns and plays. Some of the most important include:
- Convenience: In-home pediatric therapists come to your home rather than you having to get the child up, dressed, and ready to go in to the clinic or hospital. This saves untold amounts of time as well as transportation costs and the hassle of traveling continually. Home care agencies also typically offer more flexible appointments that can be structured around your schedule, rather than the other way around.
- Comfortable Environment: Some children react negatively to an unfamiliar and (what they might perceive to be) an unsafe environment. This can become a hindrance to their developmental progress. With in-home pediatric care, the child is in an atmosphere that he/she is familiar with, creating optimal conditions for getting the most out of therapy.
- Family Bonding: Having loved ones around is another important aspect to the development of a medically-challenged child. When the therapy is done at home, the parents and siblings can help participate, which allows them to help the child practice what was learned later. It is nearly impossible to duplicate this model when the therapy is practiced outside the home.
- Affordability: The cost of in-home pediatric therapy varies depending on the specific needs of each child. However, all things being equal, prices are usually lower when the therapy is provided at home.
Pediatric therapy is essential for the development of children who have ongoing medical needs. In many cases, in-home long-term pediatric care is a preferred treatment option because of the potential benefits for both the child and the family.