In pursuing a career in outpatient orthopedic rehab, physical and occupational therapists have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including acute care and home health. And while each of those settings offers its own unique challenges and rewards, there are a number of reasons why senior living stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Senior Living vs. Acute Care

Compared to time spent in senior living settings, therapists working in acute care often work with a great deal of uncertainty, as they rarely know what they will encounter when walking into a patient’s room. They serve individuals who have recently been admitted to the hospital and, as a result, may be less medically stable. This can lend itself to situations which quickly devolve into emergencies. 

While some therapists thrive in this kind of fast-paced and unpredictable environment, others may find it overwhelming. In contrast, senior living provides a less stressful and more structured setting. This allows therapists to better plan their day and focus on each patient’s individualized plan of care. 

Senior Living vs. Home Health 

When it comes to home health, therapists are limited by what they can bring into a patient’s home — this includes equipment, as well as personnel. Home Health therapists almost exclusively work alone with their patients, which can be challenging should an emergency situation arise. Compare this to senior living, where therapists often have access to facilities dedicated to therapeutic sessions, as well as support from other team members as needed. 

Travel time between visits is also a factor, with home health therapists spending a significant amount of time on the road moving from one client’s home to another. Plus, home health therapists face more extensive documentation requirements, which often leads them to spend time at home in the evenings completing necessary paperwork. Therapists with a permanent role at a senior living community face neither of these challenges.

In conclusion 

With greater amounts of one-on-one treatment time, more detailed approaches to care, reduced stress levels, and access to a supportive team, senior living makes an attractive option for therapists seeking a fulfilling and rewarding career.  

“If you’re looking to challenge yourself, but you want the resources you need to maintain a healthy work-life balance, then senior living is the way to go — no question,” said Lisa Meyer. “Nowhere else can you find such a rich opportunity to build relationships with interesting patients and make a lasting impact on their lives.”

Want to learn more about how rewarding a therapy career in senior living can be? Visit today!