The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors in Assisted Living

Registered nurse helps an elderly woman with a cane

When considering options in assisted living, it is best to choose those that ensure physical therapy is available. In fact, as a major component of senior health, therapies of many kinds (including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other types of support) are incredibly beneficial. As one expert noted, in addition to the customized care that seniors receive in assisted living, regular physical therapy can be an excellent addition.

After all, most seniors will require some sort of recuperative therapy or temporary physical therapy routine after treatments, surgery, or injury. Yet, many seniors in assisted living and nursing homes also find themselves with chronic conditions that benefit from a long-term treatment plan that integrates physical therapy. For example, someone who suffered a stroke or who is dealing with osteoarthritis can benefit immensely from the option for regular physical therapy and yet it may not always be available.

And the benefits of it are quite surprising. As that same expert noted, it can:

  • Eliminate or reduce pain
  • Help with balance
  • Improve mobility
  • Help to manage vascular conditions
  • Help to reduce the need for surgical intervention in several conditions
  • Offer a “first step” in treating many age-related health issues

It will always have to be provided by a licensed physical therapist and a physician will need to be involved in making the decision to add therapy to the regular treatment regimen. A good assisted living community will have medical staff and offer residents regular visits from therapists and registered nurses in addition to doctors.

Look for Physical Therapy in an Assisted Living Community

It is important to remember that not every assisted living community makes the effort to bring physical therapists to the premises on a regular basis. They will have to coordinate with healthcare and wellness professionals to ensure the onsite services are available.

What can they anticipate when they have physical therapy in their assisted living community? That is going to vary based on the provider selected and the individual resident’s needs, but will often include strength training, massage, stretching, and the use of “modalities” or treatments that address specific concerns. As an example, hydrotherapy or the use of a TENS unit may be part of the training.

What you can be certain of is the fact that any Physical Therapist or PT brought to the assisted living community will be properly licensed and board-certified. They will be able to do a full evaluation of any new patient and test mobility, strength, and range of motion. They will understand what sorts of conditions each of their patients face, and then create a treatment plan that allows weekly visits to address the concerns.

This means that anyone who lives in an assisted living community with a physical therapy option gets more than just basic medical care. When paired with other services frequently offered by such facilities (housekeeping, nutritional services, transportation, daily living support, and more), it is a formula for a higher quality of life than one would enjoy living at home!

The Long-Term Picture

Choosing to live in an assisted living facility does not have to mean the end of independence. Instead, it can be the path to more independence than ever. After all, life in the right community can offer the comfort and joy of a home-like setting. It can be a small-scale environment with personalized décor, attentive staff, and round the clock service and care. There can be home-cooked meals enjoyed in a group setting to ensure optimal nutrition and adequate socialization, and there will also be regular gatherings where snacks and drinks are available.

Paired with something like physical therapy, it can make it possible for someone who might already require a lot of medical attention to still enjoy lots of independence while obtaining all of the care needed. Additionally, it may not be the right time for someone to make the move to full care or nursing care. The option for an assisted living community with therapeutic services is the ideal answer.

After all, it makes for seamless health care in which “at home” visits by doctors and therapists are the norm instead of something impossible to organize. At Heidi’s Haven in Leesburg, Florida, residents get that sort of seamless health care with regular physician visits, registered nurses always available, and an array of therapists and specialist care on the premises available.  With 24-hour staffing and a small-scale, home-like setting, it can provide the ideal solution for those who want to enjoy the smoothest transition from independent living to assisted living.





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