Around one million Americans have Parkinson’s disease, and another 90,000 are diagnosed each year. Your dad is one of them. Have you considered the importance of physical therapy to help him? Take a closer look at the things a physical therapist can help him achieve.
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, your dad’s movements will slow down. He’s going to have a harder time with balance and coordination. Stairs and long walks exhaust him and create a fall risk. He may experience stiffness in his arms, legs, and hands that make it impossible to complete daily routines.
Explore the Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical therapists help your dad improve his posture. People with Parkinson’s may not stand or sit straight, and that hunched position causes pain and fatigue. The fatigue and pain add to the risk of a fall, so it’s important to maintain the best posture possible for as long as your dad can.
Stiffness and a lack of coordination make something as simple as walking from one room to the other risky. You’ve noticed your dad often shuffles his feet rather than taking steps. He may take smaller steps, which is a problem on stairs or when stepping into a shower stall or bathtub.
Your dad’s strength is diminishing. He can’t stand on one foot to get into his pants. He has a hard time standing and cooking a meal on the stove. Even lifting food from his plate to his mouth is harder than it used to be. Strengthening exercises help with these issues.
What Types of Physical Therapy Help Someone With Parkinson’s?
During the initial physical therapy consultation, your dad will go through an assessment to determine his current abilities. His therapist will look at the disease’s progression and come up with the best way to help him. Some of the common physical therapy options for Parkinson’s include:
- Amplitude Training – Helps with the size and reach of movements like a stride or arm reach
- Functional Training – Helps with the management and completion of ADLs and IADLs
- Manual Therapy – Uses massage and hands-on approaches for movement, flexibility, and pain reduction.
- Reciprocal Patterns – Helps with coordination and fine motor skills
The goal of all of these therapeutic methods is to keep your dad as mobile and independent as possible. His abilities to take care of himself will worsen over time, but a physical therapist helps him maintain self-care tasks and independence much longer than someone who skips physical therapy.
Schedule an introductory meeting with a physical therapist and go over the different areas that the therapist can help your dad with. Maintaining his strength and balance is important, and physical therapy assists with that. Call a physical therapy office to get started.
If you or someone you know needs Physical Therapy in Hutchinson, MN, contact Adara Home Health. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.