At the Physio Co we work very closely with the families of our senior clients.
We believe it’s very important to involve the families right from the start. We do this intentionally by:
- Collaboratively setting meaningful health goals with a clear plan
- Providing regular updates and communication by method of choice on your Mum or Dad’s progress
- Helping develop a home exercise program as appropriate for care staff to assist with
In this article we will go through the process of communication from first contact to ongoing care followed by a personal reflection and example. Let’s dive in!
First point of contact:
First point of contact will be with our friendly support office. Our client care team in Melbourne will be able to find out what your relative needs, their interests and get a feel for yours and their goals.
From there they contact one of our experienced caring physiotherapists to set up an initial appointment.
Initial memorable assessment:
One of our core values at TPC is to be memorable. Our initial memorable assessments are no exception.
At our initial treatment session, the physiotherapist will find out more details of what your relative would like to achieve with their physiotherapy. Often, family members will be involved and even like to attend this first consultation. It is vital that we can make this connection with the families early through digital or in-person means. These goals we set collaboratively will be meaningful for the senior client and their families.
Depending on the setting – living at home, in a retirement village or in an aged care facility – we can help with setting up health goals that are most suited to the needs of Mum or Dad.
- Beryl, who lives in a retirement village may have the goal to “walk to the local shops for a coffee with a friend”
- Peter in an aged care facility may have a goal to “have enough movement in my shoulder to eat my favourite Lindt chocolates”. Yum!
Whatever the goal, our aim is to have this established in the first 1-2 sessions and ensure it is meaningful to both client and their family.
Once we have set these health goals, the physio will create a one-page plan on how we can set out to achieve them. This plan can be sent to family members and key players in Mum or Dad’s health team (e.g. GP, specialists, case managers) so we can all work together on smashing their goals.
Communication on progress updates:
Treatment sessions will then commence with your physiotherapist.
Here at the Physio Co, we are exceptionally good at updating families with the progress of their relative, either through a direct phone call, email or by text.
We go that extra mile with the care of your loved one. We ‘think outside the box’ giving feedback on other needs required, such as changing their environment or updating equipment such as walking frames or even footwear. Liaising with nursing staff or doctors, as needed, is also part of our role.
Furthermore, we also involve the families once an exercise program has been created.
You may like to help your family member with their exercises and encourage them to perform them in between physiotherapy sessions. This will lead to a better outcomes and speed up the process of reaching their goal.
During Covid lockdowns, it has been extremely hard for relatives to visit their loved ones while they are in their own home or in aged care. Physios were classified as essential workers and so were able to continue treating our clients and prevent a decline in their physical and mental health.
Personally, I was able to connect with families though FaceTime, as part of their treatment session. The families have been so thankful for this communication. I have a lovely resident Marie, who was able to see her beautiful great granddaughter laughing and giggling over a FaceTime call!
We are more than happy to provide such vital communication with families, and we go above and beyond to help our seniors stay mobile, safe and happy.
At The Physio Co, we strive to connect consistently and meaningfully with our clients and their families, wherever they may live. It is what makes us stand out with our personal and caring approach.
If you think we can help you, your Mum or your Dad get back to doing something they love, please contact our customer care team to find out how we can help.
Article written by Sue Mavin, TPC physiotherapist