The Many Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors

Senior doing physical therapy exercises

According to The American Physical Therapy Association(APTA), the goal of physical therapy (PT) for seniors is to make daily tasks and activities easier, while enabling them to function as independently as possible.

Physical therapists are fully licensed practitioners who assist senior adults in achieving their health and fitness goals. Physical therapists help to reduce pain, restore functionality and improve mobility for better living –issues that many seniors deal with today.

As noted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), physical therapists provide advanced evaluation and management of patients who are acutely or chronically ill with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary and other disorders. Their goals include restoration or maintenance of sensory and motor abilities to prevent, reverse, or minimize functional limitations or disabilities.

Physical therapy professionals provide seniors with state-of-the-art, evidence-based treatments (i.e. based on research) beginning with a personal assessment and continuing with therapeutic interventions designed to result in the highest levels of functional activity. Physical therapy care begins at bedside and progresses to techniques that support lifestyle, recreational activities and employment.

Key Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors

Says Susan Irrgang, RN, NHA, MBA, Administrator at Saunders House in Wynnewood, PA, “Seniors are probablymostfamiliar with the benefits of physical therapy as a treatment after a serious accident, injury or medical conditions such as stroke and cardiopulmonary disease. However,physical therapy can also help seniors to improve their strength, balance, mobility and overall fitness. 

“These represent significant benefits for senior adults as they enhance crucial physical abilities that can improve health and well-being, and promote independent lifestyles. Of special note, physical therapy can also reduce the risk of falls – the leading cause of injury and injury-related death among senior adults ages 65 and older.

“At Saunders House, our comprehensive RenewAll short term rehabilitation and physical therapy program provides specialized services and care to help loved ones to fully recuperate from an illness, surgery or accident and return home safely. Our physical therapists create individualized plans for each personusing a variety of treatment modalities to reduce pain, improve movement and restore function to the highest level possible.”

In addition to improving functionality and mobility, reducing pain and maintaining independence, physical therapy also benefits seniors with chronic illnesses and those who have been hospitalized recently. Outcomes statistics show that having physical therapy after a hospitalization improves patient results and recovery.  

Physical Therapy Is Used for a Variety of Needs and Conditions

Physical therapy services are used to treat seniors with many different conditions and needs. Some examples include:

  • Joint replacement
  • Stroke
  • Cardiopulmonary disease
  • Post-surgical recovery
  • Reconditioning post-illness or injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Vertigo
  • Pain in all parts of the body 

An Interdisciplinary Approach Using Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialists

Susan adds, “At Saunders House, we take an interdisciplinary team approach to physical therapy and rehabilitative care that includes specialists in a variety of medical and health fields,” including: 

  • A Medical Director specializing in geriatrics
  • Fully certified physicians specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation 
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists 
  • Therapeutic recreation specialists 
  • Registered nurses
  • Licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants 
  • Dietary and nutrition specialists
  • Discharge planners and social workers

“This results in exceptional physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy that supports optimal quality care and outcomes for seniors and other users of our rehabilitative services.” 

We encourage you to call us with any questions you might have and to stay current on a variety of senior health and caregiver topics by viewing our latest articles on our website.

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog,“The Many Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors,”we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

Discover Our Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

Located adjacent to Lankenau Medical Center, Saunders House – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has a celebrated tradition of providing exceptional care and services to seniors and their families. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Saunders House offers a range of services – including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing carerestorative carememory carerespite care and specialized care for individuals with visual impairments – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Saunders House, our short-term rehabilitation program and other professional services, please call us today at 610.658.5100 or contact us online.

Voted Best of the Main Line 2018 by Loyal Readers

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Saunders House and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or please contact your attorney or physician.

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