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Blog Feature

By: Marissa Salvesen on October 9th, 2014

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Considering Physical Therapy for Your Aging Loved One? Read This!

assisted living | senior health | aging parents | physical therapy | Aging & Caregiving

physicaltherapyStrong bodies are healthy bodies. Unfortunately, many older adults experience a decline in strength, flexibility and overall physical ability due to the aging process.

While many caregivers think of physical therapy as a responsive treatment to a specific condition -- such as an accident, injury or medical event -- proactive physical therapy can help reverse declines in physical ability while promoting better overall health.

Fitness Matters

Today’s seniors are living longer than ever before, but are they living better?  Older adults suffer from numerous health conditions that can interfere with daily living. A physical therapist can identify any physical weaknesses related to coordination, balance, strength, and range of motion, and recommend helpful strengthening exercises in a safe, supportive setting. As seniors become more comfortable with movement, they not only grow stronger, but also feel better.

Pain Management

While chronic pain can be debilitating, physical therapists offer medication-free pain management techniques. These trained professionals are skilled in a variety of methods, which reduce swelling and ease pain. Methods may include massage, heat and cold therapy, or a combination of treatments designed to relax the body and alleviate pain.

Preventing Trips and Falls

Trips and falls pose a significant threat to the elderly: in fact, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that a full third of seniors over the age of 65 fall every year. Many of these accidents lead to hospitalization and even death. Unfortunately, falling -- or fear of falling -- can cause a troubling decline in mobility and motility.

Physical therapy can help seniors improve balance and avoid falls. The therapist will work with your aging loved one to incorporate exercises that don’t just add strength, but also promote increased confidence, thereby stopping the sedentary cycle before it starts.

Maintaining Independence

While many older Americans may need occasional help, they also require a sense of independence in order to enjoy a full quality of life. For many seniors, physical therapy promises improved physical capabilities which can help your aging loved one feel more confident, develop enhanced self-esteem, and enjoy a more positive outlook on life. 

Key Takeaways

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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.