Physical therapy for the geriatric population focuses on optimizing function for the aging adult. As we age, our bodies undergo wear and tear. Although this process is normal it sometimes leads to pain and disability, causing patients to limit their activity or all together stop doing what they enjoy. Geriatric physical therapy has been found effective in improving strength, mobility and balance to help the aging individual build confidence in staying active. There are many reasons to consult your doctor about the benefits of physical therapy.
Treatment will focus on a patient’s specific goals. Research shows that individual treatment programs at any age can help restore mobility, reduce pain, increase strength and improve fitness levels.
Geriatric conditions treated with physical therapy:
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Osteopenia and osteoporosis
- Cancer-related complications
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Joint replacement and other orthopaedic surgeries
- Neurologic disorders; Stroke, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Vestibular and Balance disorders
- Overweight and obesity
- Fall Risk and gait training
- Generalized weakness and loss of function
Geriatric Speech Therapy
As we age normal changes can occur with speech, language, memory and swallowing. In addition, some diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s or dementia can also cause disorders related to these tasks. A speech language pathologists (SLP) can play an important role in addressing these changes whether related to the normal process of aging as well as disorders related to disease.
A SLP will design a program that is specific to your needs and goals. This may include exercises for breathing and swallowing, or strategies to assist with memory and attention.
Geriatric conditions treated by SLPs include:
- Communication disorders