Home-based rehabilitation for seniors improves quality of life, saves money

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Seniors with musculoskeletal disorders, like arthritis or broken bones, who get rehabilitation at home are less likely to need admission to hospital or long-term care homes, say researchers from the University of Waterloo and University of Toronto.

The study, published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, also found that older patients who receive physiotherapy and occupational therapy in their own home are more likely to be discharged from home care services altogether after treatment.

“Fewer hospital admissions and a decreased demand for home care services would represent a significant reduction in the government’s overall health costs,” said Professor Paul Stolee, of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Waterloo.

“The aging of the population is often seen as the biggest cause of increasing health care costs, which is not true,” said Professor Stolee. “This study provides evidence that if older people get the right services at the right time, this can actually reduce their cost to the health system, while improving their quality of life.”

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