Forms of Geriatric Physical Therapy
Exercise is defined as any form of physical activity that is beyond what the person does while performing their daily tasks. Exercise is something that is designed to both maintain and improve a person's coordination, muscle strength, flexibility and physical endurance, as well as their balance. It is meant to increase their mobility and lessen their chance of injury through falling. Exercise in relation to geriatric therapy might include activities such as stretching, walking, weight lifting, aquatic therapy, and specific exercises that are geared towards a particular injury or limitation. A physical therapist works with the person, teaching them to exercise on their own, so they may continue their exercise program at home.
Manual therapy is applied with the goals of improving the person's circulation and restoring mobility they may have lost due to an injury or lack of use. This form of therapy is also used to reduce pain. Manual therapy can include manipulation of the person's joints and muscles, as well as massage.
Education is important to the success and effectiveness of geriatric physical therapy. People are taught ways of performing daily tasks safely. Physical therapists also teach people how to use assistive devices, as well as how to protect themselves from further injury. Older adults can utilize physical therapy as a means for regaining their independence. Physical therapy can help seniors to feel better, as well as to enjoy a higher quality of life.
The potential for age-related bodily changes to be misunderstood can lead to limitations of daily activities. The usual process of aging does not need to result in pain, or decreased physical mobility. A physical therapist can be a source of information for understanding changes in the body, they can offer assistance for regaining lost abilities, or for development of new ones. A physical therapist can work with older adults to help them understand the physiological and anatomical changes that occur with the aging process.