What is Home Therapy?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Home therapy is therapy which is provided to patients at home, rather than requiring patients to travel for appointments. Both psychotherapy and physical therapy are available on an at-home basis in many regions of the world. There are a number of reasons for patients or their caregivers to pursue home therapy, ranging from concerns about patient safety outside the home to a desire to keep patients in a familiar environment for their therapy sessions. Typically, fees for home therapy are higher, reflecting the extra time required on the part of the therapist to provide services at home.

Home physical therapy.
Home physical therapy.

In the case of psychotherapy, providing therapy at home can sometimes be beneficial for the patient and the therapist. For patients with severe emotional issues, traveling outside the home may be difficult or sometimes impossible, and by having a therapist travel to the home, the patient can ensure that he or she will not miss appointments. Home therapy may also be comfortable for patients with severe disfigurements who are receiving psychotherapy and would rather not endure the public attention that such disfigurements can attract. For therapists, home therapy provides an opportunity to see the patient's home environment, and to interact with the patient's family members and friends in a space which is familiar and comfortable.

Home therapy can increase the likelihood that a patient will stick to her phyiscal therapy programs.
Home therapy can increase the likelihood that a patient will stick to her phyiscal therapy programs.

Sometimes, issues may come up in home therapy which would not have emerged if the patient was traveling to therapy appointments. Home therapy can also be more convenient for patients, which will increase the likelihood that they will stick with a therapy program. For patients with mobility problems, the only way to receive psychotherapy may be at home.

Some physical therapy exercises require assistance, and cannot be done by the patient on her own.
Some physical therapy exercises require assistance, and cannot be done by the patient on her own.

In the case of physical therapy, home therapy is useful from a number of perspectives. Getting therapy at home can be an alternative to inpatient therapy for patients who have limited mobility and might have trouble getting to a therapy facility for outpatient therapy. It can also be useful for patients who need intensive therapy, but would prefer not to live in an inpatient facility. Just like with psychotherapy, working in the patient's home can sometimes reveal issues and concerns which would otherwise be left unaddressed; for example, a physical therapist might note that the layout of a patient's house could increase the patient's risk of injury.

Some people who use prosthetic limbs may require home therapy to ensure the devices are properly fitted and being used properly.
Some people who use prosthetic limbs may require home therapy to ensure the devices are properly fitted and being used properly.

When physical therapy is provided at home, the patient may need to purchase or rent equipment which can be used in physical therapy sessions, and provide a space for use and storage of the equipment. The physical therapist's visits can be of varying durations, depending on the patient's needs, and the patient will usually need to perform exercises independently to maintain the physical therapy program.

Home therapy may focus on helping someone who has been injured recover daily living skills, such as standing up from a chair or couch.
Home therapy may focus on helping someone who has been injured recover daily living skills, such as standing up from a chair or couch.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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