Hiring a physiotherapist has become a necessity for every family that has senior citizens or people with special needs. Gone are the days when you had to make an appointment with a clinic and visit the physiotherapist all by yourself. With everything getting transformed by the ‘on-demand’ wave, it is no surprise that physiotherapists have adapted to the growing market needs of visiting the patients instead of handling it the other way round.
When it came to getting physiotherapists for my parents, I was in a bit of a dilemma. Unlike a cab from an app or a shirt from an online store, I was not used to getting a physiotherapist for my parents ‘on-demand’. Hence, I was not really sure how should I filter from the prospects.
After a couple of years of having done it, I can say with confidence that it is not rocket science to get the right physiotherapists for your parents. Here is everything I look into, when I am booking regular home visits with physiotherapists for my parents:
Initially, I did not even think this was important. With time, I understood the need for standardized processes. When you call a physiotherapist from a revered establishment, you are assured a great degree of competence and experience on their behalf. I have not come across a lot of physiotherapists who work by themselves. Most of the professional physiotherapists are associated with brands – hospitals, physiotherapy centres and even wellness centres.
This way, I am assured that the person coming to my place has gone through a good degree of vetting. Besides, since the physiotherapist is associated with a brand, it becomes the company’s job to ensure that my parents get a great physiotherapy session on every single appointment. This accountability on their part is relieving for me since I don’t have to worry about my parents’ safety or about the efficacy of the therapy they are being given.
Now that the basics are cleared up, you would want to know how good is your physiotherapist at her job. There are several ways to know this. The first and the most obvious way is – does she have her independent practice? If yes, then she already has her established clientele and knows what she is doing. If not, she might still be on a growth trajectory. In any case, you should get in touch with one of her clients and ask them about the treatment she has provided so far.
You can also go to websites like Practo and see for any reviews, if available.
Physiotherapists too have specializations like orthopaedics and manual therapy. Depending on what type of treatment your parents are looking for, you should look into the extra qualifications of the prospective physiotherapist. I went as far as looking into the master’s thesis of the physiotherapists we were considering. Maybe, that was a bit too far. But you can always ask for the physiotherapists’ CV that will entail all the workshops and specialized training they have received.
Finally, the professional recommendations would be given by their professors, senior colleagues and supervisors. Patient recommendations would generally show how effective was the treatment provided by the physiotherapist, how clear was she with the communication, so on and so forth. Professional recommendations would how the level of discipline she had had while training as well as the work ethics she displayed while working.
Asking for all these documents and checks may seem like a bit too much for some people. Can’t you simply trust a physiotherapist that a hospital is sending at your place? I remember, when I was a toddler, my mom would herself check every single thing that I would eat. And my dad would secure every place I was going to. While doing all this due diligence, I simply felt like it was my turn to do it all for them.