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Physical Therapy for Seniors in O’Fallon, MO

When older adults are recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery, or wish to improve mobility, physical therapy is vital. The goal of physical therapy for seniors is to make daily tasks and activities easier, as well as assist individuals in maintaining their independence. At Abbey Senior Health in O’Fallon, Missouri, the needs of our residents come first. As such, our physical therapy programs are individualized for each person in our community.

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Physical Therapy for Seniors in O’Fallon, MO

When older adults are recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery, or wish to improve mobility, physical therapy is vital. The goal of physical therapy for seniors is to make daily tasks and activities easier, as well as assist individuals in maintaining their independence. At Abbey Senior Health in O’Fallon, Missouri, the needs of our residents come first. As such, our physical therapy programs are individualized for each person in our community.

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What is Senior Physical Therapy?

A common misconception regarding physical therapy is that it is purely reactionary, meaning it is only utilized following an injury or illness. However, the practice brings significant value to older adults looking to prevent functional decline and injury, in addition to maintaining autonomy in their life. Our physical therapists develop individualized plans using a variety of treatment techniques to reduce pain, increase movement, and ultimately restore function.  

How Does Physical Therapy Help Older Adults?

Physical therapy aids seniors experiencing a variety of issues related to movement and balance. Specific ways a regular physical regimen can help older adults include:

  • Decreasing pain from chronic conditions: The regular movement involved in physical therapy can help alleviate discomfort caused by arthritis or osteoporosis, as well as offset any future symptoms.
  • Lowering the risk of injury: Physical therapy helps seniors learn how to maintain their stability. This awareness assists in reducing the risk of injury and re-injury.
  • Reducing the risk of a fall: Often resulting in bone fractures and other injuries, falls are the number one cause of accidents in older adults. Specific techniques can be learned to prevent a fall from occurring.
  • Lessening the need for medication: The older population often takes prescription medication to reduce chronic pain. The movements within physical therapy could help lessen their need.
  • Maintaining independence: The quicker older individuals are able to recover from illness or injury, the faster they can return to an active, autonomous lifestyle. Physical therapy allows them to manage their pain and return movement.

Types of Physical Therapy for the Elderly

Just as no two residents’ needs are the same, so too are there several physical therapy methods utilized. A variety of methods are implemented depending upon the symptoms presented. Below is a broadened list of available physical therapies for the elderly:

  • Geriatric: By placing a specific emphasis on the needs of aging individuals, geriatric physical therapy helps treat conditions such as joint replacements, bone problems, osteoporosis, and side effects of cancer. Programs are specialized to increase fitness levels, reduce pain, and help restore mobility.
  • Cardiopulmonary: When elderly individuals have suffered a heart attack or have other conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cardiopulmonary physical therapy can help them increase functional independence and endurance.
  • Orthopedic: The goal of orthopedic physical therapy is to restore function to the bones, ligaments, joints, tendons, and muscles following an injury or surgery.
  • Neurological: Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or other brain injuries can benefit from neurological physical therapy. Through it, they learn to adapt to visual, balance, mobility, and muscle loss to more easily conquer daily activities.

Within each overarching type of senior physical therapy are specific exercises and techniques. A few include:

  • Manual therapy: The goal of manual therapy is to relax the patient, provide more flexibility, and reduce pain. Therapists massage the muscles as well as the body’s tissues. Additionally, mobilization uses small movements to twist and pull the joints and bones into place. Finally, manipulation utilizes forceful movements to relieve pain.
  • Heat therapy: Utilizing methods of heat relaxes the muscles and improves blood circulation, which is helpful for loosening stiff joints.
  • Cold therapy: Ice packs and ice massages are used to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Hydrotherapy: Water is used in hydrotherapy to treat diseases, heal soft tissues, increase blood flow, and relax the entire body.
  • Electrical stimulation: In electrical stimulation, electrical currents are used to contract the muscles, thus creating a desired effect. It is especially helpful to those who have suffered from a stroke, as well as individuals with arthritis.
  • Balance training: As the name implies, balance training helps individuals with their stability. An example of this exercise is standing on one leg while rehearsing the alphabet.
  • Strength training: Typically combined with balance training, a physical therapist creates a plan for strengthening specific muscle groups.
  • Endurance training: A physical exercise that is low in intensity and has a long duration is aerobics training. It can help improve virtually every aspect of a senior’s health, especially their endurance.

Physical Therapy at Abbey Senior Health

At Abbey Senior Health, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide comprehensive programs for each resident. We offer a variety of solutions and services, so that each individual receives the best possible care. Depending on your loved one’s needs, they may partake in any combination of short-term rehab, balance therapy, palliative care, and physical therapy programs, all housed in a welcoming environment.

When your loved one’s needs are becoming more and more complicated, it is difficult to provide the level of care they require. If they wish to retain their independence while still receiving the care they need, look no further than Abbey Senior Health for our variety of senior living options and programs.

Contact the Assisted Living Senior Physical Therapy Experts

Located in the heart of O’Fallon, Missouri, Abbey Senior Health’s independent living and care services provide a full range of options seniors need to remain healthy, comfortable, and self-sufficient. Every resident, regardless of their health conditions, living arrangements, and needs, has complete access to a broad range of support and healthcare services.

Plus, not only do we care for their physical needs, but we also assist them in maintaining their emotional and spiritual needs. With a variety of social programs and activities available, as well as an on-campus chapel, residents have all the resources at their fingertips. If you are interested in learning more about what Abbey Senior Health has to offer, give us a call at (636) 240-5754 or complete our online form. We look forward to hearing from you!

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