The Benefits of Contract Therapy in Senior Living

Senior living homes are going to only increase in demand in the near future. The current population is increasing in age with an explosion of baby boomers now entering their golden years. This is aided by the bubble of that generation as well as the manifold increases in medicine and technology to prolong life. Basically, this generation is the first to experience true medical breakthroughs and understanding of the human body and therefore to reach old age in greater numbers.
As this population increases, the need for assistance and therapy will also increase. It is said that by the age of 65, 7 out of 10 people will need some sort of assistance with their Activities of Daily Life or ADLs.

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This type of care, whether it is post-acute care from a fall or an illness or some sort of long-term care from a chronic disease, requires the help of a therapist. Occupational therapy, physical therapy or speech therapy are all facets of this type of assistance. The best way to deal with this growing concern is through contract therapy, or the use of a temporary, self-employed therapist who can provides services on a contract basis. There are numerous advantages to this contract therapy, especially in senior living facilities or skilled nursing facilities.

Contract Therapists Have Extensive Experience

A contract therapist has the benefit of working in a variety of fields and clinics in their career. Many contract therapists choose to work this way because of the flexibility and the diversity of the job. Contract therapists can move from any sort of work, from providing outpatient therapy to dealing with individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA). Working with a contract therapist in a senior living home means that you are working with someone who has a wealth of experience and knowledge across a broad and vast industry.
Contract therapy that is provided can be tailored to suit multiple individuals in the senior living home who might all be suffering from different ailments or conditions. Why use a therapist who only understands HFA when there are individuals with stroke paralysis, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, dementia, and a whole host of other conditions. A contract therapist can provide solutions and effective therapy for everyone because of their vast experience and understanding.

Freedom to Start and Stop as Needed

The transitional nature of a senior home means that this year might need a therapist who specializes in physical rehabilitation, while next year, there isn’t enough demand for the position anymore. A contract therapist is hired on a contract basis, meaning that it is for a specified period of time. It could be for a few months for a particular patient, it could be a contract for a few years. The contract therapist has the freedom to start and stop as required. In dedicated clinics where a need is always constant, a full-time occupational therapist (OT) along with a certified occupational therapist assistant (COTA) would make sense. In the world of senior living homes and skilled nursing facilities, it is a much more transient work environment that benefits from a transient workforce.

Contract Therapy Appeals to More Therapists

Contract therapy attracts a great number of therapists to the field. They have the freedom to set their own hours, accept contracts that suit their lifestyle, and focus on fields in which they are interested in. The senior home appeals to a greater proportion of therapist across a wider spectrum of the industry.
Therapists who simply focus on old-age rehabilitation and care might be a narrow field of personnel. However, it is much easier to find therapist that focus on speech therapy, assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), illness rehabilitation, physical therapy and a number of other focuses. Contract therapy appeals to a greater cross-section of therapists than simply offering a full-time position to someone who wants to work with the elderly. By selecting from a large pool of applicants, the senior home is the place that benefits by getting a higher standard of therapist.

Contract Therapy Meets a Specific Need

If there is a difficult task or a particular patient that requires specialized assistance, a contract therapist can be hired for that unique purpose. Rather than burden the full-time caregivers with the task, a dedicated professional can devote their time to a specific need. If there is an Alzheimer’s patient going through great difficulty in adjusting, contract therapy focuses in on that patient, provides them with the compensation techniques, and gives them a personalized service.

Cost Effective for the Senior Living Home

Contract therapists attract a greater hourly wage than an employed therapist, but the senior living home or skilled nursing facility sees a savings through contract therapy. Not only can it be employed when needed, the therapist is responsible for paying their own insurance and 401(k) contributions. The senior home also does not have to provide vacation days or costly benefits to the therapist. They pay their own expenses and everyone sees a greater financial outcome from this set up.

In other settings, there are a few disadvantages to using a contract therapist. In dedicated facilities or outpatient clinics, an employed therapist makes more sense. The senior home does not have the same environment as other private practices and clinics. The greatest asset the senior home can offer their residents is the use of a contract therapy to the growing number of people who will need it in the future.

For exemplary contract therapists and a greater understanding of this field, contact the team at HTS Therapy for their wealth of knowledge in this matter.

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