Have you ever looked at what physical therapy is and how it benefits older adults? October is National Physical Therapy Month. The month is meant to raise awareness of all that physical therapists do. Physical therapy is not just a healthcare service for someone recovering from a bone fracture, stroke, or injury.
It’s estimated that 6.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes, adults are unaware of how this disease will affect their family members. Your mom has Alzheimer’s and is starting to advance into the middle stages. Now is a good time to address the benefits of physical therapy.
PT Helps With Balance
As the brain deterioration continues, your mom’s balance may be affected. Sometimes, it’s a loss of coordination, but it can also be a loss of depth perception.
However, a physical therapist can work with her to strengthen the joints and muscles that help balance. It can keep her from falling when she’s getting out of bed, climbing out of the shower, or walking up and down the stairs.
PT Helps With Ambulation
As Alzheimer’s progresses, it’s common for patients to start walking with a slow, shuffling gait. Your mom’s not walking as quickly or with the certainty she once did. Have her work with a physical therapist to ensure she’s mobile and able to move around on her own for as long as possible.
PT Helps With Fine Motor Skills
Physical therapists can also help with muscles and joints in her arms and hands. Your mom will lose fine motor skills, which undoubtedly makes eating difficult. The longer she can eat with her hands, the better it is for her.
PT Helps With Continence
In addition, incontinence happens with Alzheimer’s. After having children, your mom’s pelvic muscles may have been weakened, leading to bladder leakage. In addition, she’s having a hard time understanding her body’s cues. This can also increase her risk for a UTI, which is common with Alzheimer’s.
Physical therapists can help your mom strengthen her pelvic floor to help lower the incidence of bladder leakage. It may not stop it completely, but it doesn’t hurt to take steps to reduce the number of occurrences.
What About Her Care Around the Home?
While physical therapy is helpful, your mom needs just as much help with daily routines. Hire Alzheimer’s care services to ensure she has someone to help her with personal care, cook her meals, and clean her home.
After her diagnosis, your mom had to give up driving. You can ensure she can still go out as often as needed by hiring a caregiver for transportation. Her caregiver can escort her to medical and dental appointments and drive her home. You can stop having to leave work to drive her around.
Call a home care agency today. Ask about the pricing and Alzheimer’s care services to arrange the ones your mom needs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Alzheimer’s Care in Highland Park, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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