As you age, your body becomes weaker and it might come to a point where it becomes hard for you to move around and do even simple activities. This growing limitation can have a significant impact on your well-being. It can even lead you to need home health in California.
Here, physical therapy can be a welcome solution. But how does it work exactly? And what should seniors like you expect from it? Let’s take a closer look.
Understanding The Role of Geriatric Physical Therapy
The first thing you need to understand about geriatric physical therapy is that it isn’t meant to get you back to your prime. Remember that aging is irreversible. As such, physical therapy can only bring your body back to where your current condition permits.
Nevertheless, it still has several benefits for older people like you. The most important ones are the following.
Reduced Risk Of Falls
As you age, you become more susceptible to falls due to poor balance. These falls can lead to various injuries that further hamper your mobility. Physical therapists can help you get a better hold of your balance. They can also teach you different ways of preventing such falls.
Fall Prevention For The Elderly
Therapists can help you improve your flexibility, muscle strength, and coordination. These improvements increase your mobility significantly. You also further lessen the risk of injuries since you get better control of your body.
If you have a chronic condition, the pain that it brings can impact your well-being. Physical therapy can serve as part of the overall pain management sessions. It helps alleviate the symptoms of conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. The therapy sessions can also reduce the need for medications to control pain.
Maintaining An Independent Lifestyle
Remaining independent at their age is every senior’s desire. Physical therapy can give them that opportunity by helping them recover faster from illnesses. Additionally, you can become more active and do the things you want to try out.
The Different Types Of Physical Therapy You Can Sign Up For
One thing to note before you sign up for a physical therapy session is that there are different types available. Each type corresponds to different medical situations. As such, get the opinion of your doctor first to determine which type best suits you.
Also note that if you’re under home health in California, not every type of therapy might be available as an in-home session. You might need to go to a nearby clinic or hospital for it. The health care provider can help you book these sessions and provide transportation if needed.
Geriatric Physical Therapy
This type of therapy is designed specifically for seniors, as it is intended to deal with age-related concerns. Some of the goals that this type aims to achieve include:
- Restoring joint mobility
- Increase your fitness levels
- Reducing pain from chronic illnesses
- Preventing fall-related accidents
While other therapy types can also have these goals, geriatric physical therapy takes age-related circumstances into account. For instance, since you might have weaker bones, the therapist can develop a special program that will not put too much stress on them.
This is another common type of physical therapy program for seniors. As the name states, it focuses on treating conditions of the muscular and skeletal systems. These include traumatic injuries, as well as illnesses like arthritis and herniated discs. The program can also help you recover following a major operation like orthopedic surgery.
One thing to note with this type of therapy is that it leans more towards the restorative direction. That means that it puts less emphasis on teaching preventive behaviors. As such, you might want to combine it with other therapy types that provide this information if needed.
Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy
Heart ailments and lung diseases are some of the biggest health concerns for many seniors. In particular, heart attacks can often be debilitating. Cardiopulmonary therapy specifically aims to help seniors who have suffered from these diseases recover.
Here, the therapist can help you quickly recover from the illness. From there, the focus shifts into rehabilitation. The goal of the therapy is to strengthen your heart and lungs. This is done through a combination of exercise and other methods like behavioral supervision.
Neurological Physical Therapy
Different neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and Alzheimer’s can have a significant impact on the lives of the elderly. Additionally, injuries to the head can impair the brain. Neurological physical therapy aims to help seniors not just to adapt to these conditions better.
One particular area this type of therapy focuses on is helping the elderly cope with the impairment caused by their neurological condition. For instance, they can help patients with Parkinson’s better control and coordinate their muscle movements. Combined with psychological counseling, this type of therapy can also help patients gain a better outlook on their condition and adjust.
What To Expect In Your Geriatric Physical Therapy Exercises
Once you have signed up for a physical therapy program, you might be anxious about what to expect from it. Here, the therapist begins by doing a full assessment of your condition. They will ask you where you are feeling the pain in your body. The therapists will also ask you to describe the level of pain you are feeling.
In the next step, the therapist will request you to move around. This lets them assess different areas of your physical fitness, including:
- Range of motion
Using this assessment, the therapist determines which areas of your physical condition they need to focus on. They also decide what geriatric physical therapy exercises would best suit your condition.
Depending on your condition and the program’s goals, the PT may combine several different methods. These typically fall under three different categories.
- Massage and mobilization: The therapist can perform joint and soft tissue massage to relieve the pain. They then stretch your muscles and joints to improve your range of motion.
- Exercise: This often serves as the foundation of your physical therapy program. The actual exercises can range from simple home exercises to ones requiring equipment.
- Therapeutic modalities: These are additional techniques to help you build body strength, comfort, and mobility.
Your therapist will develop a daily or weekly program around these treatment methods. They will also schedule visits to guide you through it. On the other hand, they can also come up with programs you can do on your own.
Get The Best Therapy Sessions When Under Home Health In California
By providing the best home health in California, Amavi can also give you access to expert physical therapists. They are ready to guide you in restoring your physical health at your own pace.