Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists in nursing homes

Distribution of Nursing homes vary by region of the country due to the overall health conditions of the population in that region.  For instance, the South has the highest percentage of Adult day services, home health agencies, hospice and nursing homes because the south have poorer health, lower income seniors and higher incidence of disability among this population

In California, the numbers of beds and Nursing homes have decreased substantially from 1995 to 2016.  In 1995, there were 1,382 nursing homes which decreased to 1,205 in 2016.  Also number of beds in 1995 were 140,203 and decreased to 118,666 in 2016

Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists are vital assets to every nursing homes.  Majority of the patients at skilled nursing facilities are with disabilities and/or debilitated therefore they require physical and occupational therapies to improve their functional status.  The main difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy is that OT focuses on improving a patient ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) while PT focuses on improving the patient’s ability to ambulate and transfer, restoration of strength and function.  Speech therapist perform speech evaluations and therapies, as well as swallow evaluations for patients with stroke, aphasia and dysphagia.

It is important to know about “All staff wear name tags” because name tags are required to help the patients/residents identify and remember who the staff members are.  Many of the residents at SNF have dementia and wearing name tags will help them remember who people are.

The handrails in the hallways and grab bars in the bathrooms are for safety measures, to help decrease the rate of falls.  Falls are the #1 cause of injury in the elderly population.  Therefore, providing measures such as handrails in the hallways and grab bars in the bathrooms were residents can hold on to while ambulating or transferring helps decrease the number/incidence of falls.





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