Physical Therapy for Seniors FAQsAugust 19, 2021
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. Older individuals recovering from surgery, injuries or extended periods of little to no exercise are often more prone to injury or re-injury, particularly fall-related injuries due to struggles with strength and balance.
The words “physical therapy” likely bring up images of a long, painstaking process that’s only helpful for those in recovery. The most effective physical therapy, though, is both reactive and proactive. That’s why Ageility offers not just recovery interventions, but also prevention and fitness training in its clinics.
Prevention helps older adults 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 physical therapist (PT) do?
Though PTs are sometimes confused for personal trainers, they do far more by helping you develop a plan of care to address injury, weakness and other movement impairment. PTs must be state-licensed to practice and most hold advanced degrees, including doctorates. That education allows them to determine the cause of problems 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: optimizing movement so clients can live life to the fullest.
How does physical therapy help seniors?
It doesn’t matter if you’re already in great shape or require rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery, 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. A strong physical therapy partner like Ageility provides a full range of physical therapy services including:
- Fall prevention and balance
- Chronic and acute pain management and prevention
- Arthritic pain management
- Strength and flexibility training
- Postsurgical rehabilitation
- Sports medicine
- Continence management
- And more
How many times a week should you do physical therapy?
When a need for physical therapy has been determined, a course of treatment is likely to be 30 to 60 days in duration. However, the ideal type and frequency of physical therapy can vary from person to person. That’s why a personalized physical therapy partner like Ageility will design individualized treatment plans for each client’s unique circumstances, including sports medicine treatments to help them get back to the activities they love.
The frequency of physical therapy also depends on access. Full-service retirement communities with Ageility clinics strongly benefit from being able to help residents get the ongoing care they need on-site. Even if you need to commute to a clinic, Ageility’s community 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 or you’d just 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 therapists are trained and eager to help people 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 have huge benefits for people as they age. 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
How can I find a physical therapist for seniors?
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 continue 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 painless as possible. Just wait until you discover what physical therapy can do for you.