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Reasons You May Need Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

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Do I need Therapy?

Deciding if you need therapy is a difficult decision. No case is black and white, so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us to learn more: 973-246-6565.

Here are a few general signs that could point to you needing physical therapy and occupational therapy:

  • You wish to establish an exercise program to maintain and / or prevent issues.
  • You feel weak and overly tired due to a recent or chronic illness.
  • You have a chronic condition that affects function, mobility and or cognition (e.g.,Stroke, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s).
  • Your joints and muscles feel stiff and painful.
  • Walking or getting out of a chair, car, or bed has become very difficult.
  • You are afraid of falling or have fallen recently.
  • Bathing, grooming, or using the toilet has become a burden.
  • You were recently hospitalized or underwent surgery.
  • You were recently fitted for, or are in need of, a wheelchair or other assistive device.
  • You have trouble swallowing your pills or food.
  • Your voice is often hoarse or sounds harsh.
  • Your speech is often slurred.
  • When you speak it’s difficult for others to understand you.
  • You have trouble remembering things, solving problems, or focusing since a recent hospitalization or illness.
  • You find it difficult to find the right words when speaking.

Does Someone I know need Therapy?

A Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy assessment is a good way to evaluate your parent or loved one’s overall well-being. Here are some signs to look for when determining if the older person you love could benefit from physical or occupational therapy to help rebuild their strength, allowing them to live stronger, pain free mobility and more active lives.

You may want to consider getting your loved one help if:

  • Parts of the home look unused. If your parent is no longer venturing from room to room, and instead isolates himself / herself in one room, this may be a sign of limited mobility or fear of falling.
  • The house is cluttered. If
  • your parent is generally a neat and tidy person, clutter could be a sign that he / she is not strong enough to clean or put things away.

  • You notice body odor. This could mean that your loved one is not bathing properly, either due to limited mobility or fear of falling in the shower or tub.
  • Your parent enjoys cooking but you notice an abundance of microwave meals or takeout containers. This may mean that it is too difficult to access, handle, clean, and put away dishes or pots.
  • You find spoiled food in the refrigerator or pantry, which can be a sign of difficulty in the kitchen.
  • You see a distinct change in driving skills. Take special notice of dents or scrapes on your loved one’s car, or changes in the way he or she drives.
  • You observe that Mom / Dad is using furniture, walls, and door jambs for support. Walls and door jambs may exhibit hand marks and become dirty around frequently used areas.
  • Your loved one is noticeably less active. This may be a sign that they are fearful of falling.
  • Mom / Dad has fallen recently. Falls can be a strong indication of declining function and strength.
  • You notice recent weight loss. It may be that your loved one is having trouble preparing food. It may also be a sign of other medical complications.
  • You know Mom / Dad has memory loss or a diagnosis of dementia and / or Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Your loved one finds it difficult to find the right words when speaking.
  • It’s difficult for your parent to understand what you are saying.
  • Mom / Dad has trouble swallowing food or pills.
  • Your loved one has trouble remembering things, solving problems or focusing since a recent hospitalization.
  • The speech of your loved one is often hoarse or sounds harsh.
  • Something feels wrong or different. You know those who are close to you – trust your instincts.

These situations can be addressed, and in some cases, resolved, with physical, occupational, and or speech therapy. Sometimes privacy issues will cause him / her to hide the fact that their living situation is deteriorating – a trained therapist will recognize these signals during treatment.

Physical Therapy Can Help Seniors Lead More Active Lifestyles

Today’s seniors are busier than ever! With advances in healthcare and disease prevention, seniors are healthier and are able to lead longer, more active lives. However, injuries, illness, or the effects of aging can impair a senior’s ability to lead the type of life desired.
If a senior’s activity level is limited by deconditioning after an illness, pain from osteoarthritis, a history of falls, vestibular problems, weakness, or any other medical condition, it would be prudent to seek the assistance of a physical therapist. Physical therapy is a health profession that aims to remediate impairments and functional limitations. Physical therapy also strives to maximize a person’s mobility, functional ability, wellness, and quality of life.

After an injury, illness, or general deconditioning, a physical therapist can help to halt or reverse functional decline by helping seniors move in an efficient, less painful manner. To help seniors maintain active lifestyles, a physical therapist will determine an individualized treatment plan for each patient after performing a thorough assessment. The physical therapist would work with the patient to determine measurable, relevant goals to encourage compliance and to make physical therapy sessions more meaningful. For example, if a senior desires a return to playing golf, the physical therapist can help him or her practice walking on grassy terrain, maintain balance while swinging a club, and squat to pick up a ball or tee with proper body mechanics.

Physical therapy treatment plans may incorporate manual therapy techniques, stretching, therapeutic exercise, balance training, functional mobility training, gait training, and caregiver training. If necessary, a physical therapist may also recommend appropriate assistive devices such as canes or walkers for patients to help them move as safely as possible. Patient education regarding one’s condition, injury prevention, proper body mechanics, appropriate recreational activities, and general health and wellness is also a vital part of physical therapy intervention. To ensure continued progress and consistency, a physical therapist will often prescribe an individualized home exercise program.

Many physical therapists offer community based educational and fitness classes. Often, these classes can be found at senior centers, assisted living facilities, or offered by the city in which one lives. These classes are aimed at active seniors to help them remain active, educated, and safe. Physical therapists are often familiar with numerous community-based fitness and recreational programs and can make appropriate recommendations based on a person’s preferences and abilities.

With the guidance of a physical therapist, seniors can assume or continue a fitness program that would be most beneficial for them, whether it be walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, golfing, Tai Chi, or anything else of interest.

If you have any questions regarding any of our services, please email us at richard@holsmanhealthcare.com or call us directly at 732-428-5566.

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Contact Information

icon-address 1600 Saint Georges Ave., Suite 107
Rahway, New Jersey 07065
icon-phone Phone: 732-428-5566
Fax:     732-428-5513
icon-email info@holsmanptot.com

Service Areas

  • icon-mapClifton, NJ Physical Therapy
  • Clifton, NJ Rehabilitation Center
  • Kearny, NJ Speech Therapy
  • Rahway, NJ Occupational Therapy
  • Yonkers, NY Home Therapy
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