Physical therapists (PTs) provide treatments aimed at helping people of all age groups who are elderly, sick, handicapped, and physically or mentally disabled. Physical therapy professionals provide essential health and rehabilitation services. Evaluation and assessment by PTs result in plans for the recovery and development of seniors. The techniques, procedures, and treatments used in a therapy plan vary according to the disability and the patient’s goals.
Seniors with a permanent loss of function can benefit from physical therapy as well. The therapist provides options and adjustments that enable the highest level of independence possible. PTs also educate family members and caregivers on how to provide care to the elderly and handicapped.
What Can PT Do for Seniors and Caregivers?
The United States has an aging population and a growing number of senior adults. Consequently, the need for healthcare providers is also on the rise. A physical therapist who has a specific focus in geriatrics helps seniors with their everyday activities and works with them on overcoming challenges and problems.
PTs use several techniques and procedures to help a patient achieve pre-established goals. A therapist provides or recommends home safety devices, rehabilitation techniques, and exercises that can make daily activities easier to accomplish.
What Benefits Does PT Provide Seniors and Caregivers?
There are many different benefits of physical therapy for both seniors and their caregivers. A few include:
- Overcoming Routine Challenges. Therapy can help seniors overcome day-to-day life challenges such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and other self-care activities. Apart from these, the strategies are developed in such a way that it resolves problems and many of the issues associated with aging.
- Environmental Modification. Convenient devices like built-up eating utensils, handicap rails, bathtub benches, non-skid flooring, and much more can make the life of elders a lot simpler. A good physical therapist can recommend devices that can help in everyday life.
- Better Physical and Emotional Health. Physical therapy benefits seniors whose mental and physical health are impacted by their challenges and limitations. PT procedures and techniques provide the impetus for a healthier lifestyle, better quality of life, and increased longevity.
- Support for Life Transitions. Difficult life transitions—such as retirement, relocation, loss of a loved one—benefit from the support a PT can provide. Transitional changes in the life of an elderly person can go easier with the support of a physical therapy professional.
- Preventing Slips and Falls. An older adult may have bone fragility, slowing of reflexes, loss of footing, and many other factors that make slips and falls more of a danger. Severe injuries—such as broken hip—can often lead to surgery, rehab, and long-term setbacks. Physical therapists can evaluate the home environment and adapt it to make it more accessible and less of an accident danger.
- Caregiver Relief. Loved ones and others who care for aging adults benefit from learning from an PT how to better understand the patient’s struggles and challenges. With more profound empathy and understanding, they can make better-informed decisions to help the senior adult. Additionally, the physical therapist can also assume some of the more difficult responsibilities that the caregiver provides, lifting some of the constant pressure off of the caregiver.
With a physical therapist on their side, seniors, families, and caregivers can create a life plan that accounts for the best interests of everyone involved. Consider doing physical therapy, like physical therapy from Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic, to help with everyday tasks for you or your loved one.