The natural aging process is different for everyone but often includes a level of physical decline that can present challenges to daily living at some point. Whether from an injury, accident, surgery, or acute or chronic illness, older adults frequently need senior physical therapy services. The benefits of senior physical therapy can help people live the highest quality of life during their golden years.
Buckner Villas is a faith-based, non-profit senior living community in Austin, TX, offering the complete continuum of care for seniors 62 and older. We understand the challenges that can come with aging. Our dedicated, compassionate staff provides top-quality care for our residents in a safe, secure, home-like environment with access to various services and amenities. Call 512.580.9882 to learn more about our senior physical therapy services.
What Is Senior Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy (PT) is the medical treatment of disease, injury, or physical abnormality through exercises, heat treatments, and massage rather than drugs or surgery. Senior physical therapy benefits include but are not limited to the following:
- Relief from acute or chronic pain
- To prevent or help recover from a fall
- To prevent surgery
- Care following a stroke, accident, injury, or surgery
- To improve balance
- To adjust to using assistive devices, such as a cane or walker
- To improve bowel or bladder control
- Managing a chronic illness, such as heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes
- Improving overall mobility
- Adjusting to an artificial limb or loss of limb
Physical therapy for seniors can be preventative or corrective, with physical therapists working to improve functional movement issues and teaching techniques to help prevent injuries and improve daily functioning.
What to Expect from Senior Physical Therapy Services
Physiotherapists who have gone through rigorous specialized training provide PT. They are knowledgeable not only in how the body moves but also in how systems within the body, including cardiovascular, neurological, and endocrine systems, impact movement.
Physical therapy begins with a thorough intake assessment where the physical therapist gathers information that includes the following:
- Medical history
- The source of pain or mobility issues
- Level of pain and other symptoms
- Walking or climbing abilities
- Heart rate and rhythm while performing an activity
- How well a person can reach, bend, grasp, or move in general
- Posture and balance
- Details about the home environment include stairs, handrails, grab bars, etc.
From the information gathered, your physiotherapist will develop an individualized treatment plan that includes your personal goals, exercises, and other treatments to help you achieve them. The length of time spent in PT depends on your needs and goals.
Senior Physical Therapy Benefits
Mobility issues in seniors are not only the result of injuries, accidents, or medical issues. Decreases in muscle mass, bone density, and flexibility are a normal part of the aging process that can make everyday tasks more challenging and prevent seniors from being as active as they once were.
A significant benefit of senior physical therapy is treating these naturally-occurring age-related declines to improve daily functioning. Other benefits of senior physical therapy include the following:
- Promoting independence – PT for seniors enhances their ability to perform everyday tasks such as cooking, laundry, dishes, cleaning, and yardwork, allowing them to maintain independence longer.
- Reducing the risk of falls – Falls are seniors’ number one cause of bone fractures and head injuries. PT improves balance, coordination, and stability.
- Pain relief or management – PT may alleviate symptoms of arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic headaches, nerve pain, and muscular pain.
- Improved recovery from illness or injury – PT helps reduce swelling and inflammation, reduces recovery time, and promotes faster overall healing.
- Reducing reliance on prescription drugs – PT can be equally and sometimes more effective at managing or relieving pain than prescription painkillers without the risk of dependence.
The more active seniors are, the better their overall physical and mental health will be. In addition to helping recover from an accident, illness, or injury, PT for seniors can be preventative, helping to keep them physically fit and strong enough to maintain independent living.
Learn More About Senior Physical Therapy Benefits at Buckner Villas
Buckner Villas is the premier choice for senior community living in Austin. We provide safe, secure senior care in a welcoming environment where residents live independently, with 24-hour access to care and support. Our low staff-to-resident ratio means that each of our residents receives individualized care. Call 512.580.9882 or complete our online form to learn more about our programs and services, including senior physical therapy.