As you age, your body will slowly drift away from its prime. In your later years, your chances of falling ill can increase, and you may find that your body functionality is no longer as it used to be. Because of this, seniors will have specific health needs that need to be met. However, this doesn’t mean older adults can no longer enjoy a quality life.
Physical therapy can be a great tool for seniors to regain independence and restore their functionality. Aside from treating an existing condition and helping a senior recover from an injury, physical therapy can also be a preventive measure. It can reduce the risk of injury and falling, lessen the need for prescription medication, and improve the overall quality of life for a senior.
While there are many types of physical therapy out there, these four programs, in particular, can be especially beneficial for older adults.
1. Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy
Since seniors can be more prone to cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions such as heart attacks and pulmonary fibrosis, they may greatly benefit from cardiopulmonary physical therapy. Through cardiopulmonary physical therapy, seniors can increase their functional independence and endurance.
This physical therapy program combines exercise training and education to help control the symptoms of the cardiovascular or pulmonary condition. The physical therapist will often focus on chest and postural drainage techniques to help improve the senior’s breathing and make daily activities easier for them.
2. Geriatric Physical Therapy
This physical therapy program focuses on the unique health needs of older adults. Through geriatric physical therapy, you can lower the risk of falling and increase functional independence. It can also help treat conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, balance disorders, and joint replacement. Through specialized programs, a geriatric physical therapist can help a senior increase their fitness levels, restore their mobility, and reduce their overall pain.
3. Neurological Physical Therapy
With neurological physical therapy, the focus is on the brain and body. This physical therapy program is best for older adults suffering from neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS. In this program, the physical therapist will help the patients adapt to mobility, visual, muscle loss, and balance impairments. Neurological physical therapy can help seniors that have suffered a brain injury to easily complete their daily activities.
4. Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Orthopedic physical therapy puts emphasis on the musculoskeletal system. This program is especially helpful for older adults that have musculoskeletal injuries or are recovering from orthopedic surgeries. The best example would be when a senior has suffered from a fall.
Through orthopedic physical therapy, the elderly can rebuild their strength, improve their range of motion, and enhance their flexibility. A physical therapist will provide a specialized exercise program to help restore function to the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. They will also be guiding seniors throughout the program to ensure safety.
Physical therapy is a great way to improve your elderly loved one’s quality of life. For seniors suffering from chronic conditions, physical therapy can be a great way to help treat their condition. It can also promote recovery from an injury and lessen the risk of falling. But best of all, physical therapy can help seniors regain their functional independence and allow them to live normal lives.
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