WebCam Physical Therapy
I love learning about new ways technology can be used to enhance people’s lives. So when I heard about Nina Downie and her WebCam Physical Therapy, I wanted to learn more. She joined me for a segment on “The Aging Boomers,” and below is a recap of the interview:
A practicing physical therapist since 2003, Nina specializes in Neurological Rehab – that is, rehabilitation from strokes, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries, as opposed to Orthopedic Rehab, which is rehabilitation from injuries and joint replacement surgeries.
Nina lives in Central California, but it doesn’t matter where she lives, because she’s developed a way to work with clients without anyone leaving their home. It’s called WebCam Physical Therapy. All it requires is a computer, a webcam, and a software program called Skype.” I’ve been all over the United States, which is pretty amazing,” Nina says.
“In many ways, neurological rehab is caregiver training,” Nina continues. “There are many caregivers who weren’t caregivers yesterday; they’re suddenly thrown into the role. So I help educate them about the diagnosis, how it presents, and how they can best help the person they’re caring for.”
About 40 percent of Nina’s clients are baby boomers caring for a parent, and she developed this high-tech approach to physical therapy as a solution to some of the obstacles preventing people from getting the help they need. These include:
- Geography – There are many areas in the country where people do not have access to a nearby physical therapist. This technology brings the expertise and assistance right into their home.
- Cost – Some people don’t have health insurance or health insurance that covers physical therapy. They can then purchase a fifteen-minute session with Nina and see if this is going to work for them, or a half hour or hour. It’s up to them. It could be one time or multiple times. The least amount is fifteen minutes, and that’s $25 dollars. The maximum is one hour, which is $100 dollars.
- Convenience: No need to waste gas, fight traffic, or spend precious time waiting in an office for a scheduled session.
If you have health insurance that pays for physical therapy, use it! But if after you’ve completed your covered sessions and are not exactly where you want to be, WebCam Physical Therapy could be a good option. In addition to providing one-on-one physical therapy sessions, anyone who has a family member who is falling can contact Nina for a home safety evaluation. Nina adds, “I can make so many recommendations that help reduce the falls, because that is just a slippery slope.”