Physical Therapy for Seniors FAQ
Accidents happen. It could be a bad swing at the links, a wrong step during a morning jog, or just a slip in the kitchen. Seniors are especially prone to injury, particularly fall-related injuries due to struggles with balance. Just don’t tell Dorothy Griffin. The 95-year-old San Antonian senior takes pride in moving about with an ease far below her years. “I can get up right out of my chair,” she says. “It takes balance to do that. I feel that I’m not going to fall.” So, what’s her secret? It all starts with physical therapy.
The words “physical therapy” likely brings up images of a long, painstaking process that’s only for bouncing back from an injury. Well, that may be the case elsewhere, but when Dorothy describes her experience with Ageility physical therapy for seniors, one word keeps coming up: “wonderful.”
“I have a wonderful therapist,” she says. “We’re having fun, and I feel like I’m getting stronger.”
Much of what Dorothy loves most about Ageility physical therapy is how they’re reinventing rehab for older adults by offering not just recovery interventions but prevention and fitness training in its clinics. Prevention helps seniors avoid falls and other catastrophic events, while fitness training helps older adults stay active for as long as possible—even to the point of achieving goals they’ve had all their lives like running a marathon.
Not sure if Ageility physical therapy is right for you or your loved one? These answers to five of the most common questions about physical therapy for seniors can help you make the most informed decision.
What does a senior physical therapist (PT) do?
Though PTs are sometimes confused for personal trainers, they do far more than helping you develop a fitness plan and must be educated and state-certified to practice. That experience allows them to diagnose injuries and create customized treatment plans based on recovery or prevention. For seniors in the Ageility program, these might include orthopedic rehabilitation, strength training, aquatic therapy or arthritic pain management. No matter the treatment, Ageility’s physical therapists share a common mission: empowering seniors to gain power over their bodies.
Can physical therapy help older adults?
Absolutely. It doesn’t matter if you’re already fit as a fiddle or just want to build balance and confidence, regular physical therapy can help older adults maintain their independence for as long as possible. That’s because physical therapy is proven to help improve strength, balance, mobility and fitness in adults. Since the CDC states that falls are the leading cause of injury to those over age 65, participating in physical therapy like Ageility’s state of the art fall prevention program can be one of the best ways to stay active and on your feet.
How many times a week should you do physical therapy?
Most practitioners suggest you visit your physical therapist two to three times a week for best results, but the ideal type and frequency of physical therapy can vary from person to person. That’s why Ageility designs individualized treatment plans for each client’s unique circumstances, including sports medicine treatments to help you get back to the tennis courts or the golf course.
The best part? If you live in a retirement community with an Ageility clinic there’s no need to drive somewhere for each appointment. Ageility clinics are conveniently located within many senior living communities so therapists can treat seniors in their apartment or in a gym close by. “I like it in my own building,” says Dorothy. “I don’t have to get dressed to go someplace or worry about transportation.” Don’t worry, even if you need to commute to a clinic, Ageility’s hospitality focus means your visit will be just as personalized and easy as if you lived next door.
Is it ever too late to do physical therapy?
Maybe you have an old back injury that’s still causing you trouble. Maybe, like Dorothy, you’d like to get up and greet visitors without the need for assistance. No matter what’s holding you back physically, there is no better time than now to start physical therapy. There’s no age limit on improving your quality of life, and Ageility’s specialists are trained and eager to help clients reach their personal goals regardless of age, ability or athletic history.
What physical activities are good for older adults?
Many of the physical activities you’ve enjoyed over the years still have huge benefits for seniors. There are exercises and activities, though, that are particularly effective for seniors due to their low impact that puts minimal stress on the body. A few that Ageility’s physical therapists love to use in their customized treatment plans include:
- Dumbbell strength training
- Chair yoga
- Resistance band workouts
- Aquatic therapy/water aerobics
Getting older doesn’t mean you can’t be in the best shape of your life. With regular physical therapy, that hike on your bucket list or goal to live independently is within reach. Ageility’s licensed therapists are trained and ready to help you get there and make the process as easy and “wonderful” as possible. It helps Dorothy get right up out of her chair. Just wait until you discover what physical therapy can help you do.