Five Tips for Caregivers of Elderly Loved Ones Receiving Physical Therapy in Napa County, CA

October 24, 2017 1:22 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Physical therapy is not only for injured athletes. In fact, people of all ages and physical ability levels benefit from physical therapy everyday. One such group is the elderly. Doctors regularly recommend physical therapy sessions for elderly adults who are in recovery from injury, surgery or illness because it is an excellent treatment for chronic pain. It’s also effective at helping older adults regain their strength after being diagnosed with any number of conditions.

The thing about physical therapy is that it takes time to show results. Individuals will need to put in time and effort for it to be effective and stick once their treatment is complete. Often, in order to succeed, they need a little help from people who care about their quality of life.

Here are five tips for caregivers of elderly loved ones receiving physical therapy in Napa County, CA:

  • Go to all appointments: Physical therapy is often time-consuming, from getting ready for an appointment to getting to the facility to completing the day’s session. But it’s important that therapy appointments are not missed. If you are a caregiver of an elderly loved one, you need to encourage them to go to each appointment, and you should plan on attending, too. Missing even one appointment can hinder physical recovery goals, or at the very least slow progress.
  • Be observant of changes: Although physical therapy may start out with some pain, it should not continue. Therapy exercises are supposed to help rebuild strength, not cause further pain and other problems. Be observant of such changes and tell your loved one’s physical therapist so they can make modifications to the problematic exercises.
  • Encourage daily at-home exercises: Physical therapy treatment does not stop when the appointment is over. In fact, most therapists will provide a list of exercises that need to be done daily at home in between professional sessions. This is where caregivers must offer a great deal of encouragement, because a patient may need that extra loving push to stay on track and meet their recovery goals.
  • Keep a record of progress: Caregivers should keep track of everything from the start—including penciling in all upcoming appointments and recording progress at home and when in treatment. Note the exercises or skills they are able to do now that they couldn’t do before, and throughout the weeks, track how much time they are able to remain exercising, walking or standing. Report all this information of progress to your loved one’s doctor and physical therapist.
  • Remain supportive: As previously mentioned, physical therapy is time consuming for patients and caregivers, but it can also be a grueling process for the elderly adult. Occasionally, they may want to give up, skip exercises or avoid going to appointments, all out of frustration. Lend your support through encouragement and praise, and talk with them about what’s frustrating them.

To find out if your elderly loved one can benefit from physical therapy or to schedule an appointment, call Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy. Our staff is more than happy to answer your questions about the way we approach physical therapy in Napa County, CA!

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