Physical therapy can help people in all walks of life, and that’s especially true for older adults who may find that they are facing new physical challenges as they age. For these patients, we offer geriatric physical therapy that is aimed at helping treat some of the unique issues and challenges that the aging process can prevent. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at geriatric physical therapy, what it focuses on and how it can help you.
The Goals Of Geriatric Physical Therapy
Geriatic physical therapy attempts to address a number of the physical challenges that adults face as they get older. Some of those challenges and limitations commonly include:
- Decreased activity
- Loss in muscle strength
- Reduced balance and coordination
- Delayed reaction time
- Reduced stamina/tolerance for physical activity
With these deficits in mind, it’s easier to understand how a physical therapist may tailor a therapy plan to a patient following an individual assessment. Some of the goals of geriatric physical therapy exercises will be to keep the individual active, slow or reverse muscle atrophy and deconditioning, working to improve their balance to help reduce their fall risk, and to help them maintain their independence and keep an elevated quality of life.
Common Geriatric PT Exercises
When it comes to developing a personalized physical therapy routine, it really comes down to their capabilities and deficits as revealed by a physical exam. Once a physical therapist has a better idea of a person’s limitations, they’ll be able create a standard therapy routine. Some common exercises and activities will include:
- Lower body exercises to promote mobility and joint stability, and to prevent tight muscles or stiff joints.
- Endurance exercises to improve your heart and lungs to make activity easier and to up your stamina.
- Balance exercises to improve balance and coordination, which in turn helps to reduce fall risk.
- Modified weight lifting exercises to improve muscle strength and to prevent atrophy.
- Exercises that target the body and the mind simultaneously to help improve reaction time and overall cognitive function.
Perhaps best of all, geriatric physical therapy is typically covered by Medicare Part B when the services are performed on an outpatient or at home basis. Inpatient services are typically covered under Medicare Part A, and many health insurance plans also partially or fully cover physical therapy if you’re not yet covered by Medicare. Feel free to reach out to our clinic if you have insurance or Medicare questions.
So if you or someone in your life could benefit from physical therapy exercises aimed at limiting the effects of aging, look no further than the team at OrthoRehab Specialists. We’d be more than happy to set you up with a PT routine that helps you remain active and independent. For more information, give our team a call today at (612) 339-2041.