VNHCH Celebrates Their Therapists During October’s Physical Therapy Month
Left to right Physical Therapy Staff: Marie Olson, Jeff Rothen, Angela Nelson, Pam Breault-Simpson
NORTH CONWAY, NH - Visiting Nurse Homecare and Hospice is well known for their nursing care. But did you know that they also offer in their in-home physical therapy to help patients recover from all sorts of accidents, illnesses and surgeries. That’s why they’re taking time to thank and recognize their physical therapists this month, as October is Physical Therapy Month.
Physical therapists play a unique role in home care. They act as a healthcare provider, trainer and motivator…constantly working to keep clients safe from injury while also improving function and quality of life. Physical therapy is great at restoring mobility, flexibility, balance and coordination.
Doris Kirk of Glen, NH learned first-hand the value of in-home physical therapy when she was recovering from two separate total knee replacements, one in 2015 and the second in 2017. Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Doug Taylor at Memorial Hospital performed both surgeries, and physical therapist Pam Breault-Simpson helped her recover from both with physical therapy in the home.
Doris recounted, “I had a great experience with Pam Breault-Simpson. She was professional, considerate and likeable. In addition she really knows what she is doing. Pam made a significant difference in both my recoveries. I looked forward to having her come to the house. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to have to leave the house for physical therapy after the knee replacement surgery. I’m so happy they offer this service locally.”
While many experience physical therapy in a gym-like setting, patients like Doris emphasize the value of therapy in the home. “There is nothing like home. It’s the only way to go. Pam worked with me throughout my house- in bed, standing in the hall holding on to bannisters, on my own stairs, in my own rooms. It was a benefit doing it in the home.”
Physical therapist Pam Breault-Simpson stated “I like working in the patient’s home as you address their needs in the home setting. I ask ‘what would you like to accomplish.’ I gear my goals towards what they want to do, regaining independence in- getting in and out of bed, up and down the stairs, in and out of the shower. I had a gentleman recently who had a goal to plant flowers, so we worked outside, digging a hole, dragging a garden hose and walking on uneven soil. This further challenged his strength, balance and endurance. We can incorporate what we focus on and what is important to the patient in the home environment.”
With a joint replacement patient such as Doris Kirk, the therapist provides a crucial second set of eyes after a surgery. A physical therapist will monitor surgical incisions and help with pain management and be the go between the patient and doctor. No one wants to bother the doctor! So we are a good resource for the patients and families when they get home to answer questions and provide ongoing support and resources. There are a lot of benefits!”
Pam is one of five therapists at VNHCH, the others being Angela Nelson, Marie Olson, Jeff Rothen and Howard Stanten.
VNHCH Executive Director Sandy Ruka emphasized the importance of physical therapists to their mission of providing home care to the community of Carroll County and western Maine. “Whether the aim is simply to regain flexibility, alleviate discomfort or to relearn major motor functions, a qualified therapist is required to develop a plan and keep patients safe through this sometimes painful process. Therapists are not only extending the lives of their patients, but they are helping them live more enjoyable lives as well. We are so grateful to our team of physical therapists as we celebrate them this month and every month!”
For more information about VNHCH, visit them online at www.vnhch.org or call 603-356-7006 to find out how to access physical therapy services at home.