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4 Types of Physical Therapy and Health Promotion Programs for Seniors

Exercise & Fitness, Lifestyle & Activities, Rehabilitation & Therapy, Wellness | July 23, 2021

When seniors are recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, taking part in a senior rehabilitation program is vital to restoring functionality, reducing pain and improving quality of life. Rehabilitation for seniors often includes a mix of physical, occupational and speech therapies all designed with the individual’s specific needs and abilities in mind.

“The goal of therapy is to alleviate pain and return to mobility,” says Jean Brooks, Senior Vice President of Rehabilitation, American Senior Communities. “What seniors may not realize is that therapists know how to work with older adults so that exercise can be done in a safe and effective manner.”

Why is Physical Therapy for Seniors Important for a Successful Recovery?

Physical therapy is a particularly important component in a successful recovery because it improves an individual’s strength, flexibility, and mobility. Physical therapy for seniors is beneficial for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Reducing the risk of a fall. One of the most common reasons a senior needs physical therapy is to recover from a fall. Falls are the leading case of accidents among seniors and often result in a bone fractures and other injuries. A physical therapist can teach seniors techniques to prevent a fall.
  • Lowering risk of injury. Physical therapy helps seniors learn how to maintain their stability as it relates to gravity when they’re mobile. This awareness helps reduce the risk of injuries and re-injury.
  • Decreasing pain from chronic conditions. Physical therapy can help alleviate discomfort from conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis and offset any future symptoms.
  • Lessening the need for prescription drugs. Seniors often require prescription medication to help manage their chronic pain. However, a physical therapy regimen could help reduce the need for medications and could be a more cost-effective form of treatment.
  • Maintaining an independent lifestyle. The quicker seniors can recover from an illness or injury and manage their pain allows them to lead an active, independent lifestyle for a longer period of time.

Common Types of Physical Therapy for Seniors

Physical therapists are trained in a variety of different types of therapy that help people return to their normal lifestyles as quickly as possible. The main types of physical therapy for seniors include:

Geriatric physical therapy

Geriatric physical therapy places a special emphasis on the needs of aging adults. It helps treat conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, joint replacement and balance disorders. Specialized programs are designed to help restore mobility, increase fitness levels and reduce overall pain.

Orthopedic physical therapy

An orthopedic physical therapist helps treat injuries of the musculoskeletal system, as well as help individuals recover from orthopedic surgeries. The goal is to restore function to the muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments.

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy

When individuals have had a heart attack or have other cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, cardiopulmonary physical therapy can help increase endurance and functional independence.

Neurological physical therapy

Neurological physical therapy focuses on the brain and the body, making it slightly different from other types of physical therapy. When individuals have neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, Parkinson’s disease or have suffered a brain injury, a neurological physical therapist focuses on teaching them to adapt to visual, mobility, balance, and muscle loss impairments to more easily complete activities of daily living.

For post operation rehabilitation, consider Moving Forward Rehabilitation at an American Senior Communities location near you.

As a part of the compressive care that is provided by American Senior Communities, Outpatient Therapy is an additional service that is offered is. Outpatient Therapy at ASC is a personalized approach to clinically proven strategies that promote overall better health. By combining highly trained and compassionate therapists with the latest technologies, our programs are structured to fit your needs. Goals are set and guided by therapists who are committed to excellence, integrity, quality, and customer service. Our treatments are designed to increase mobility by reducing inflammation and pain. In coordination with your physician, the best, most personalized care for you is always our highest priority.

  • Effective, scientifically proven pain management interventions
  • The utilization of new technologies that are effective and make therapy fun
  • Physician-approved interventions for post-operative orthopedic and other procedures
  • We encourage family and caregiver participation

“Physical therapists work on the mind-body relationship, helping folks to adapt to impairments so they can move better in their environment,” Brooks says. “These techniques have shown great strides in working with MS and brain injuries, including strokes and other neurological conditions.”

Brooks says that women who have had a mastectomy can also benefit from physical therapy, by helping them increase their range of motion and reduce swelling.

She recommends a thorough evaluation be done by a therapist to help them design the best program for you. While you cannot predict or prevent injuries from occurring, it is encouraged that you remain as active as your body will let you in effort to continue to gain strength.

Staying Active

“Research has shown that seniors can increase strength well into their 90s!” says Jean Brooks. American Senior Communities has designed a program, New Energy Wellness, to promote senior health and wellness. New Energy Wellness is designed to promote active senior health by improving your current fitness level and giving you more energy than you’ve felt in years. Research-based with proven results, this strength building senior wellness program offers adults ages 50 and older the ability to enjoy active senior living and, quite simply, to feel better.

Offered to both residents and the community, the New Energy Wellness Program exposes seniors to a series of exercise programs designed to build balance, vigor, and ability in everyday life. Our Health Promotion Coordinator is trained in Health and Fitness and will work with you and your physician to design a low-impact, customized exercise regimen. The Health Promotion Coordinator is available to always supervise and assist members while motivating them to achieve their goals. Blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation levels are monitored before and after each exercise session.

New Energy Wellness offers month-to-month membership with no long-term contracts. Each location offers convenient hours all for a small monthly fee. *  It’s never too late to focus on active senior health by starting to exercise and achieve a healthier lifestyle.

*New Energy Wellness Communities

For more information on our Moving Forward Rehabilitation, Outpatient Therapy or New Energy Wellness Programs please contact us today at 888-996-8272. To find an American Senior Communities location near your please visit our website here!

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