As people age they go through different stages, each on their own individual ways. Yet, physical, pathological, psychological and social changes are often experienced. It is important to care for and improve the quality of our elders’ life. When adults undergo a number of changes as they age, their life changes too. Therefore, health and social habits need to adapt as well for a smoother adaptation to the social and family surroundings.
It was only in 1989 that geriatric physical therapy was included in the medical field and it specializes mostly on problem areas affecting older adults. Conditions affecting the elderly may include: arthritis, osteoporosis, joint replacement, coordination and balance problems, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, orthopedic issues, even some cancer cases.
Geriatric physical therapists are trained to offer therapeutic solutions to improve/restore fitness, mobility, ease pain and provide instructions for the daily life of the patient, such as preventing falls which is very crucial for senior adults. Thus, boosting their confidence to remain active and determined to continue enjoying their life and feeling more independent at the same time, such conditions are effectively treated through geriatric physical therapy.
Are all aged adults considered as geriatric patients?
The answer is simply “No”. Any adult may need to have a certain physical therapy treatment for a specific problem, such as back pain, sport injury, tennis elbow, stiff and sore muscles and joints. But for the geriatric patient one needs to look further. Other factors are taken into serious consideration, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis which may be contributing to the discomfort and pain experienced in a particular area.
Possible age-related changes may lead to limitations of daily activities if not diagnosed in time. A geriatric physical therapist needs to evaluate the patient on mental and physical capacity as well. Upon completing the evaluation the PT will provide information for better understanding of the changes in the body by helping seniors understand the physiological and anatomical changes of the aging process and will offer assistance to regain abilities and develop new ones suited for their needs.
How can a geriatric physical therapist provide assistance?
The significance of physical activity should not be underestimated. A well-designed workout improves the person’s coordination, balance, flexibility, endurance, and strengthens the muscles. Everyday chores and errands are not taken into account. Simple exercise routines, walking, stretching, swimming or specific movements aiming to help a particular problem will be explained by your physical therapist.
Manual Therapy treatment aims at the cause of the problem and not at the symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders. The physical therapist uses his hands for the examination and the treatment. It improves circulation and restores mobility, promising amazing results.
Broaden your capacity. A qualified geriatric physical therapist instructs his geriatric patients on how to perform their daily tasks, and all that is vital for their safety and wellbeing. The patients are shown the proper use of assistive equipment, a cane, a walker, and how to prevent further decline leading to injuries and falls. Therefore, they regain their confidence and are ready to face life enjoying their freedom of movement safely.
Retirement age is meant to be enjoyed as dreamt to be. Don’t let a weakness or fear keep you or your loved ones from the joys of your “golden years”. At Eversharp Physical Center a geriatric physical therapist will help you physically and mentally to overcome your limitations and continue with your life in confidence. You deserve a good quality life to share with your friends and family. So, act now!