Community Blog

Seniors Benefit from Physical Rehabilitation

By Debbie Humphrey

*Rehabilitation: To reform to a former state or capacity

When I was a caregiver for an elderly woman with osteoporosis and severe back issues, she experienced several very nasty falls. Each time she was taken to the emergency room at the local hospital, treated and released. She was prescribed pain medication, and referred to pain management and physical therapy.

Medicare paid for a certain number of visits with the physical therapist, so I, or one of the other caregivers, would drive her to her appointments, and we would watch trained, licensed PT’s work with her to stretch and strengthen her aged, atrophied muscles and assist with a combination of repetitive motions and limited exercises.

The woman’s frail structure was challenged with every movement and activity, and she would often struggle to complete what I would consider simple tasks. Understandably, she easily became tired, frustrated, and wanted to quit. We always encouraged her to press thru the discomfort so her condition would improve and she would feel better and heal better over time. This was not much consolation to the elderly woman, but she would usually continue through the exercises and finish the recommended reps.

Rehabilitation of any kind is not easy, but seniors benefit from rehabilitation, even though it can be a huge challenge for them. It is important to encourage them and keep their minds focused on the prize, which is the overall improvement of their physical condition. Furthermore, it is crucial certain aspects of physical rehab be practiced at home for optimal results.

In addition, rehab benefits seniors mentally, too! When a senior struggles to move or get around independently, it has a negative effect on their thought processes. They doubt their abilities and begin to believe there is no hope that they can live the life they once lived and do the things they used to do, which can lead to depression.

I have witnessed seniors doing rehab improve their ranges of motion, their posture, their gait, and their attitudes! Rehab and physical therapy gives them self-confidence that they can function independently and live their lives the way they intended!

Rehab is often recommended for seniors who have suffered:

-Falls
-Stroke
-Arthritis
-Osteoporosis
-Balance Disorders
-Orthopedic Disorders
-Vestibular Disorders

Rehabilitation for seniors can help with so many aspects of physical, mental, and functional independence, and it is covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans. If you know a senior in need of rehabilitative services, or who need transportation assistance to physical therapy or rehab appointments, please give me a call. I am happy to offer a FREE in-home consultation to discuss specific needs and ways our caregivers can lend a hand!

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Contact me today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers® We are Making Life Easier℠ 727.972.2539

*Merriam-Webster Dictionary