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Elderly Physical Therapy Tips for Caregivers

April 5th, 2016

civilian-service-63616_640If you’ve ever been prescribed physical therapy following an injury or surgery, then you most likely have heard the phrase “No pain. No gain.” Younger bodies are able to push themselves to extremes, but those who are older will not reap the same benefits. In fact, more harm than good can result from inappropriate exercising during physical or occupational therapy. Orlando occupational therapy, provided by BrightStar Care, provides the best match possible for therapy for your elderly loved one’s needs.

For physical and occupational therapy to be successful, the patient must be committed to following the prescribed treatment plan. Optimally, the therapy will help to alleviate pain, assist your elderly loved one in regaining strength and range of motion, and, ultimately, improve their quality of life.

It’s important to set a schedule with the therapist that is realistic and easy to maintain.
Both physical and occupational therapy sessions are usually scheduled twice a week to start and, then depending on progress (and insurance), may taper down to once a week. Very often, elderly patients choose to skip appointments when they don’t experience an immediate improvement in their condition. As a caregiver, it is your responsibility to keep them on track so that they are able to make progress during treatment.

Another component of being a caregiver of an elderly loved one is to supervise the therapy work that must be done on a daily basis at home. This exercise regimen is an integral part of helping the patient stay focused on achieving his/her goal. Studies have shown that elderly adults who thoroughly follow their therapist’s instructions will make strides faster than those who don’t. You should be able to point out progress to them as a form of encouragement. If they can walk four feet further than last week without getting tired, or they can lift a two pound weight when only a one pound weight was doable a month ago, progress is being made and should be applauded.

As a caregiver, you should also be very in tune with your elderly relative and know when something doesn’t seem quite right. If they seem to be experiencing pain or difficulty in performing the tasks as set forth by the therapist, you need to bring it to the attention of the therapist. Odds are they have heard this kind of problem before, and they are able to modify routines easily without negatively impacting the final goal.

Your ultimate goal as a caregiver is to ensure that your elderly loved one is enjoying a good quality of life. Following a prescribed course of physical and occupational therapy is a serious component of helping the healing process and maintaining strength. Orlando occupational therapy is available to help your elderly loved one. Call us at 407-877-0720 now to learn more about BrightStar Care.