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3 Reasons Your Loved One May Need Physical Therapy Services

A female physical therapist guiding a senior man during exercise. | physical therapy services

As the population ages, the need for high-quality, effective care for older adults has become critical. Physical therapy services offer a lifeline for seniors with mobility challenges. Treatments can help improve mobility, manage pain, and enhance their overall quality of life.

By understanding the role and benefits of physical therapy, you can make the best decisions for your loved ones and ensure they receive the care and support they need. Explore how it can boost your loved one’s independence and increase their self-sufficiency.

The Aging Population Is Increasing

America is graying. In the United States, the number of people aged 65 and older is projected to double from 46 million to over 98 million by 2060. Statistics also show one in four 65-year-olds today will live past 90. While this extended lifespan is a great testament to medical advancements, it also highlights the growing need for comprehensive care solutions. For example, nearly 92% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 77% have two or more.

The changes associated with aging alone can be difficult to manage. It’s even tougher for family caregivers who care for senior parents with comorbidities and physical limitations. This is where physical therapy comes in.

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy involves using specific exercises and equipment to help older people improve or regain their physical abilities. For seniors who’ve become frail because of aging, this typically means restoring mobility in various muscles, reducing pain, and preventing further injuries.

Imagine your mother who was once an active gardener but is now struggling with knee pain — physical therapy interventions can help her get back to enjoying her garden.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors

Physical therapy can be a game-changer for seniors, offering a long list of merits that can enhance their overall well-being. Here are some of its key upsides:

Improved Mobility and Flexibility

Regular physical therapy sessions can help older family members preserve or regain their mobility. If your senior dad used to hike but now struggles with joint stiffness, a tailored physical therapy program can help him relearn how to use the right muscles required to walk with less pain. The intervention plan can also include strategies to restore the range of motion and flexibility of the knees. Working with a physical therapist can help them recover their lost mobility.

Pain Management

Through targeted exercises, physical therapy can manage chronic pain. If your senior mom suffers from arthritis, a physical therapist may use massage and joint mobilization techniques to soothe pain. An effective therapy plan can considerably reduce her dependence on pain medications and improve daily comfort.

Enhance Quality of Life

By improving strength, balance, and coordination, your loved one can live an active and fulfilling life regardless of their age. How great will it be to see your senior dad dance to the beat again? He can get his confidence back and join family celebrations with the rest. This boost in physical ability can significantly boost his overall happiness and social interactions.

3 Reasons Seniors May Need Physical Therapy

A physical therapist massaging the knee of a patient

Older people may need physical therapy for many reasons. Understanding these can help you identify when it may be time to seek professional help for your loved one.

1. Chronic Pain Management

Conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis can cause searing pain, making everyday tasks difficult. Physical therapy offers non-pharmacological ways to manage this discomfort. For instance, your dad living with chronic back pain can benefit from exercises and stretches that alleviate the aches and improve his quality of life.

2. Rehabilitation After Surgery or Injury

Post-surgical rehabilitation is crucial for recovering physical abilities. Therapy helps seniors regain strength and mobility after a hip replacement procedure or if they get fractures. If your senior mom recently had knee surgery, a physical therapist can walk her through exercises that rebuild her strength and allow her to return to her daily routines quickly.

3. Address Age-Related Mobility Issues

Aging naturally leads to decreased muscle strength and joint flexibility, making movement more difficult. Physical therapy helps combat these changes, promoting better movement and balance. If a loved one used to enjoy morning walks but now finds it challenging due to age-related stiffness, they can enlist a physical therapist’s assistance to regain their mobility.

By recognizing the common reasons for physical therapy, you can provide timely services to support your loved one and provide what they need to live healthier, more active lives.

Finding the Right Physical Therapy Provider

A female therapist giving a senior patient a high five. | manual therapy

Choosing the right therapist is the first step in ensuring your loved one receives adequate, high-quality care. The ideal choice will have the necessary expertise, understanding, and other positive attributes that compassionate senior care demands.

Considerations When Selecting a Physical Therapy Provider

Here are some factors to prioritize when selecting a physical therapy provider.

1. Expertise and Specialization

Look for therapists specializing in geriatric care or have experience with the specific conditions your loved one has.

2. Location and Convenience

Pick a care provider with an accessible clinic to reduce the strain of travel on your senior mom or dad.

3. Personalized Treatment Approach

Ensure they offer individual-focused treatment plans tailored to the specific needs and goals of your loved one.

Locating Services That Accept Medical Insurance

Therapy services often last for months. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll feel the financial strain during ongoing treatment. If you’re worried about your source of care funds, the good news is many physical therapists accept medical insurance. Here are some tips to locate them:

  • Consult with your primary care physician: They can recommend reputable physical therapists and provide referrals.
  • Check with your insurance provider: They should have a list of in-network providers. Check about potential out-of-pocket costs.
  • Read reviews and ask for recommendations: Google the company to check what their previous clients say regarding their services. These details can provide insights into the quality of care offered by specific professionals.

Types of Physical Therapy Services for Seniors

A male therapist helping a senior man do his stretches. | goal-oriented treatment

There are many different types of physical therapy services available for seniors. Depending on your loved one’s needs, here are some options.

1. Orthopedic and Sports Therapy

Interventions focus on injuries related to muscles, bones, and joints. It’s beneficial for older people recovering from surgeries or dealing with conditions like arthritis.

2. Geriatric Physical Therapy

Specifically designed for seniors to address issues like insufficiencies in motor skills, balance disorders, osteoporosis, and joint replacements.

3. Hand Therapy

Treatments can help improve the function and strength of hands and wrists, which is crucial for daily activities.

4. Vestibular Therapy

This type of care aims to resolve balance issues and dizziness, which are common in older adults.

5. Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Rehab strategies help seniors improve their heart health and overall endurance through guided exercises.

Every senior has unique needs and health conditions, so pick a physical therapy service that best meets these demands. Consider a therapist who can customize their treatment to ensure each session is worthwhile, leading to more effective outcomes.

The Role of Physical Therapists in Senior Care

Physical therapists play a crucial role in enhancing the health and well-being of older people. They bring specialized knowledge and skills to tackle seniors’ unique challenges, helping them maintain independence and boosting their quality of life.

Find out what qualifications are needed for senior-focused physical therapists, the importance of comprehensive evaluations and treatment plans, and the value of building a trusting relationship between the therapist and the care recipient.

Required Qualifications and Expertise

Physical therapists working with seniors often have specialized training in geriatrics. They’re knowledgeable about the aging process and the multiple health challenges pressuring older adults from common health conditions to age-related decline. Someone with geriatric training will know how best to deal with knee and hip pain.

Importance of a Comprehensive Evaluation

A thorough initial evaluation helps therapists grasp your loved one’s health status, goals, and limitations. For example, your dad’s therapist will assess his knee pain and create a tailored plan to reduce knee concerns.

Building a Trusting Relationship with Your Physical Therapist

Trust and communication are key in the client-therapist relationship. A strong bond will encourage your loved one to proactively participate in their sessions. They’ll likely commit to their home exercise if they feel comfortable working with their therapist. You can expect her steady progress and faster recovery if your family has a better relationship with your care provider.

Benefits of On-Site Physical Therapy Services

A female therapist giving a leg massage to an older lady | best care possible

The integration of physical therapy services in assisted living settings has become a major priority among facility administrators. They aim to provide continued care, which is only possible by onboarding all types of care providers. Based on statistics, about 46% of Americans ages 75 and older report having a disability. Moreover, 30% of the same age group have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs. The demand for these services is apparent.

Find out how on-site physical therapy can promote faster recovery and improve overall well-being.

Make Care More Accessible

Assisted living facilities that offer on-site physical therapy make care accessible for their residents. It’s easier for older people to integrate care services into their daily routines without worrying about transportation. The result is enhanced overall care experience and patient outcomes.

Save Time and Energy

Physical therapy delivered on-site means your loved one won’t have to wake up hours before their session, prepare themselves, and travel to the clinic. They can save time and effort and put those resources toward more meaningful things, like their hobbies. Your senior mom might even enjoy their sessions since they don’t have to go far.

Faster Recovery

Consistency is key for improved well-being — onsite therapy supports this goal. Your loved one can attend therapy services more frequently since sessions are just outside their door. As a consequence, they’re more likely to adhere and commit to their treatment program. Additionally, the familiar environment can empower seniors to get proactively involved in their health and outcomes.

Incorporating Onsite Therapy at Amy’s Eden Senior Care Homes

Several assisted living units have implemented physical therapy programs that have significantly boosted their residents’ mobility, independence, and quality of life. We are an excellent example of this. By partnering with local, licensed physical therapists, we can provide residents with the care they need without leaving their homes. As a result, they can remain self-sufficient, autonomous, and independent. We have homes around Reno and Carson City, Nevada. We can arrange for whatever type of care service you need to be delivered home.

Personalizing Physical Therapy Treatment for Seniors

A therapist talking to a senior man about this treatment program | evaluation and treatment

Every senior has unique health needs and goals, which is why personalized physical therapy treatment is essential. Tailoring the treatment program to individual requirements ensures each session is effective and addresses the real problem. How do they do this?

Explore the importance of individualized treatment plans for seniors.

Conduct an Individual Assessment

Personalized physical therapy programs consider your loved one’s medical history, physical condition, functional limitations, and overall health circumstances. This approach guarantees their therapist can devise a treatment plan with a high probability of success.

Include Your Loved One in Goal Setting

Another aspect of personalized treatment is setting clear, achievable goals. Your loved one is more likely to stick with their therapy programs if they’re involved in the goal-setting and monitoring process. It’s empowering if they know how far they’ve progressed and how many more sessions are left before full recovery. This entire dynamic can make the journey toward better health more rewarding.

Design Tailored Exercise Routines

You can expect a higher chance of treatment success if therapists create a program of exercises designed around your loved one’s goals and priorities. For example, if your senior mom knows that stretching can improve their range of motion, they can more plausibly adhere to the plan.

This personalization is not limited to restoring your loved one’s functional limitations. Physical therapists can also develop a rehabilitation plan, consisting of exercises that make everyday tasks easier to do. Even if your loved one is healthy, they can participate in the program to preserve their mobility and strength.

Physical Therapy Services Can Boost Quality of Life

Physical therapy services enhance senior’s quality of life in many ways. For one, these exercises can improve mobility and promote independence. Moreover, they can also reduce the pain associated with moving stiff muscles and joints.

One of your roles as a caregiver is vetting the right physical therapy provider for your loved one. Physical therapists specialize in many areas and treat a specific audience. Geriatric physical therapists target seniors and focus on their well-being. They’re the most ideal people to reach out to if you require services to address age-related mobility challenges.

If you’re having trouble finding the perfect physical therapist for your senior mom or dad, send us a message or give us a call. It’s our mission here at Amy’s Eden Senior Care to expand quality care to seniors who need it most. We can tap into our network of caregivers, physical therapists, and various care providers to work with your family. We aim to provide the best care to our residents here in Nevada and we can do the same for you.


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