For Health Partners member Janice Hinds, having a knee replacement in May 2020 helped to improve her quality of life. "After years of pain and discomfort my specialist recommended a full knee replacement", explained Janice.
Knee replacement surgery is a procedure that removes the worn-out surface of a joint and replaces it with a device called a prosthesis, which helps replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.
“My husband called Health Partners to check my cover before surgery, and he asked if I was eligible for Rehabilitation in the Home as he had received the program previously for a similar surgery. It’s wonderful that this is included as part of our hospital cover”, said Janice.
Health Partners’ Rehabilitation in the Home program is delivered in partnership with Your Health Navigator who have extensive experience in clinical home services. The team from Your Health Navigator work with the member and hospital staff to develop a personalised care plan, which can include liaising with the specialist, GP, allied health professionals and other community service providers. This ensures that the member is holistically supported before (pre-habilitation), during and after surgery (rehabilitation).
After being referred to the Rehabilitation in the Home program and prior to her surgery, Janice began treatment with Your Health Navigator’s physiotherapist George, for four sessions of pre-habilitation.
"Janice’s pre-habilitation program involved exercises aimed at strengthening her core and upper body as much as possible, both of which are relied upon heavily after the surgery", explained George.
Janice was able to continue with the pre-habilitation exercises at home with guidance from an instructional app accessible from her iPad as well as Telehealth consultations, in the lead-up to her surgery.
Cathy, a registered nurse from Your Health Navigator, acted as a liaison between the hospital and home support team throughout the program. Cathy visited Janice in hospital and together they developed a personalised recovery care plan which included referral to physiotherapist sessions at home, wound care and medication management.
A major surgery, joint replacement patients often spend up to a week in hospital, depending on individual circumstances. "The surgery went well, but I did experience some pain so I stayed in the hospital for six days. I also appreciated not needing to travel to the hospital for rehabilitation afterwards", Janice explained.
Janice’s rehabilitation care plan was delivered entirely in her home, and access to a nurse was available 24 hours a day via Your Health Navigator’s phone number throughout her recovery.
Once at home, physiotherapy helped Janice regain her independence through a series of customised home exercises to strengthen her new knee joint. Janice’s physiotherapy experience before her surgery meant that she had already developed relationships with the physiotherapists, providing consistency and confidence throughout the process.
“Physiotherapists, George and Glen, visited me regularly to monitor my progress and check that I was able to do the exercises correctly. During my recovery I had a series of exercises to do three times a day. Having that routine was beneficial, and not needing to leave my house was so convenient”, Janice recalls.
“I’m still doing the physiotherapy exercises!”
Mobility equipment including a walking stick, toilet seat raiser, shower chair and rollator frame were also available to loan for free as part of the program. "I used a walking frame in hospital and at home when I needed it. It was so convenient, they even came and collected the equipment from my home when I didn’t need it anymore", said Janice.
Janice is grateful to have recovered quickly, and although the pandemic impacted her getting back to Pilates classes straight away, Janice “most looked forward to walking and swimming again".
“I’d highly recommend the rehab at home program. I don’t know how people manage at home after a knee replacement operation without it!”
Speak to your specialist about whether Rehabilitation in the Home is right for you. Call us on 1300 113 113 to discuss your eligibility.
Find out more about Health Partners' hospital and health support programs.