The Hallmarks of Homecare
About two months ago I returned to homecare-based speech therapy; just a few sessions a week. I was nervous at first. It had been three years since my homecare days and I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm a little older, a lot busier and the paperwork and procedures have changed. However, after having my own children and working for three years in a preschool setting, I am realizing that I now have a more complete picture of what typical child development, as well as appropriate early intervention services should really look like.
I have often heard people say that homecare therapy is too hard or just not for them. However, like many things in life, it can seem daunting from the outside looking in, yet the reality is much different.
Here are some of the hallmarks of homecare that I find continually rewarding:
- Working with Infants and Toddlers - Who doesn't love babies!?? Babies and toddlers are cute, cuddly and often very funny, which often makes working with them fun and rewarding!
- Therapy Really Makes a Difference - Research shows that EI works and really can make a difference in the life of a young child. You are starting therapy when development is just beginning. Helping to improve their communication at such an early age and training the parents can truly make a difference which is also very rewarding.
- Building Relationships - Homecare is a very intimate setting. You are entering a family's home and spending time with them, learning their routines and patterns, as well as talking with them about their child, their most precious gift. Many times the relationships created there strengthen and grow over time. In addition, it is a constant workable relationship. If you are visiting a child's home weekly for 1 year, 2 years, etc. and meeting with the same people over and over, you can really help to create a wonderful bond that will fully support and guide the child.
- Flexible Schedule - If you are busy, have children of your own and/or just desire and even need a flexible schedule, then homecare may be for you. You can see children whenever is agreeable for both you and the family, including dinnertime/evenings, early mornings, weekend hours, etc.
- Being Out in the Community- If you yearn for fresh air and a change of scenery, homecare can offer that. You can meet families in various locations, such as libraries, parks and playgrounds. You are also on the road traveling from home to home throughout your day. If you need to make a quick coffee stop or need groceries at the end of the day, you are already out and about!
- Mileage Reimbursement - In our program we are compensated for the gas/mileage we utilize during homecare therapy and at the end of each month a mileage form is submitted. Although you are spending more money on gas per week, you will get extra cash at the end of the month!
As with any job, there are also the cons or downside and homecare therapy is no exception. However, the position has much to offer both the therapist and the families if done well and with integrity.