Why Physical Therapy Is Vital for Seniors and the Elderly

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in promoting the health and well-being of people across the lifespan, but its significance becomes significantly elevated when addressing the unique needs of seniors and older adults. With this in mind, it becomes even more vital that seniors and elderly individuals seek out physical therapy services, sooner rather than later.

Here’s three reasons why physical therapy for seniors is important:

 

1: THE IMPACT OF PAIN

As we age, pain can often have a greater impact on her mobility and independence. If a 28 year old experiences knee pain, they’re certainly going to have some limitations in what they can do but largely they’ll still be able to do all of their vital activities of daily living. If seniors experience knee pain, the potential impact that pain can have on independence and mobility goes up dramatically. What is a minor disturbance for a younger individual can often be life altering for many older adults.

Physical therapy can provide the needed pain relief to minimize the impact that pain has on the lives of older adults. The sooner seniors seek physical therapy, the better, as much suffering can be prevented with pain reducing techniques.

 

2: ONE REP MAX LIVING

One rep max living is when the demands of life are near or exceed one’s capacity. This means that everyday tasks become very difficult because one is using most of their abilities. They’re giving maximum effort for very common activities. This is exhausting and can really limit what older adults choose to do or not do. Physical therapy is the perfect solution to this problem, as physical therapists can help get people as fit as possible and build their capacity. As capacity goes up, life becomes easier. That flight of stairs that used to leave one winded is now a piece of cake.

 

3: FALLS PREVENTION & PREPARATION

Falls can have a large impact on the quality of life of older adults, especially if it’s an injurious fall. Physical therapists can provide a thorough falls risk assessment and develop helpful plans to reduce the risk of falling. Physical therapists can not only help prevent falls but also prepare for them. By improving older adults’ ground mobility, confidence in getting to/from the ground, and actually practicing how to fall, physical therapists can help older adults be ready for when that time may come.

When you consider these three reasons, it becomes apparent that physical therapy is a potent service to help seniors and elderly individuals absolutely change their lives.

Are you seeking physical therapy? Find an ICE trained clinician.

Are you a clinician wanting to better serve older adults? Check out our Older Adult Certification.