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Can Physical Therapy Help my Senior Loved One?

Many people understand that a physical therapist can be called in to help a senior recover from a fall or injury. While physical therapists are indeed invaluable in that circumstance, there is also so much they can do to prevent falls and functional decline in the first place. They are uniquely suited to helping seniors live independently, comfortably and successfully for as long as possible! 

Recover from Acute Injuries

Elderly Care Havertown, PA: Physical Therapy and Seniors

Perhaps most well known for their ability to help individuals recover from acute injuries, physical therapists do shine in this arena. They can help people recover faster and more completely from injuries, surgeries and illnesses. They can also help prevent complications, such as falls, pressure ulcers, infections and unnecessary pain. 

Manage Pain and Chronic Conditions 

Parkinson’s, heart disease, lung disease, dementia and chronic pain are just a few examples of conditions that interfere with a senior’s ability to live their best life. Physical therapists can help seniors struggling with these and other conditions. By watching to see how they manage, and where they struggle, they can recommend particular exercise, therapies or equipment that can greatly enhance their functioning and comfort.  Something as simple as a pair of orthopedic shoes can make a difference, or they may recommend specific exercises or other therapies. 

Improve Balance and Reduce Risk for Falling 

Physical therapists are extensively trained in the five key aspects of fitness, including flexibility, strength, endurance, posture and balance. They are well versed in many ways to help seniors improve all of these. These can be extremely important for preventing falls and increasing activity level, comfort and confidence. 

Recommend Helpful Equipment 

Having the right equipment makes all the difference in both how much energy it takes to do something, and how safe it is. A properly placed grab bar, bed post or shower chair can transform a difficult, dangerous task into a safe, successful one. Walking with the wrong walker can increase risk of falling, and contribute to fatigue. Chairs that are too low, or have no armrests, can make getting up a challenge. Physical therapists can make personalized recommendations to ensure that your equipment is right for you, which enables you to live safely and as independently as possible. 

 

Elderly Care can Help 

Physical therapists may recommend home exercises for seniors to improve or maintain their strength or balance. Recommendations may include daily walks, as well as simple, but specific exercises to strengthen specific muscles to enhance balance. These exercises are designed for the senior to do on their own, as opposed to with a trainer. However, many older adults find it easier to keep up with their exercises if they enlist the help of someone else. Many seniors schedule elderly care aides to come in and encourage, remind or assist them to complete the exercises. Elderly care aides can also make going for a walk safe and pleasant, and can assist with transportation to a Tai Chi or other balance class.   

 

Elderly care services are available from an extensive menu of options, and can be mixed, matched and customized based on each individual’s unique needs and preferences. Seniors often combine exercise support along with other services, such as bathing assistance, laundry, housework, shopping or cooking assistance, which can really impact their overall quality of life. 

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering a Elderly Care in Havertown, PA please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.

 

Sources 

https://www.ncoa.org/blog/the-role-of-a-physical-therapist-in-healthy-aging/ 

https://www.sochi.edu/blog/benefits-physical-therapy-for-seniors.html 

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