As seniors get older, physical therapy can help them stay mobile, maintain muscle mass, and continue to be able to do the things they need to do to continue living independently. Of course, seniors who have fallen are probably going to need physical therapy. Seniors who have spent some time in the hospital or rehab because of a medical event (like a heart attack) are also going to need some physical therapy to get healthy again. However, all seniors can benefit from it. Physical therapy isn’t just for seniors who have experienced a fall or a serious medical event. Geriatric physical therapy, or physical therapy that is centered on helping seniors, makes it much easier for seniors to do things like:
Physical therapy helps seniors stay mobile for longer because it focuses on helping seniors maintain their strength and flexibility. Through exercises that focus on coordination, lengthening and strengthening muscles, and strengthening the core as well as safely working joints to keep them supple and working the way they should physical therapy will help seniors be able to do things like get themselves in and out of bed, walk around the house, and do the things they need to do around the house.
To stay independent and live at home on their own safely, seniors need to be able to do things like cook, clean, and go out of the house so that they can shop. Physical therapy can work with seniors so that they can maintain their flexibility, dexterity, and grip strength. By practicing exercises to keep their hands and fingers working well, seniors will be able to do things like lift a pan, wash the dishes, or pick up a bag of groceries and carry it to the house. And those are all things that seniors need to be able to do to stay at home.
Take Care of Hygiene
Seniors also need to be able to physically take care of themselves to age in place. Physical therapy can make it possible for seniors to be able to do things like dress themselves, wash their faces, brush their teeth, and perform other necessary hygiene tasks like using the bathroom. With physical therapy that is designed to improve balance and help seniors avoid falling, seniors will be able to take a shower, wash their hair, and safely do all the hygiene tasks that are necessary for seniors to live alone.
One of the biggest benefits seniors get from physical therapy is a lower risk of falling at home. Seniors who do physical therapy can maintain their balance, adjust to situations where they slide or slip without falling, and better control their movements. This can help them avoid falls as they walk around the house. If your senior parent wants to stay independent at home, they should be getting physical therapy at home to help make that possible.