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Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an incredible resource for seniors experiencing all sorts of situations. When it comes to learning how to use a wheelchair properly, physical therapists can reduce the learning curve significantly for aging adults and for the family caregivers helping them. Over time, seniors are able to establish better routines for using their wheelchairs to be more mobile and independent on a daily basis.

Assessing Needs, Challenges, and Goals

Seniors who are new to using a wheelchair may not know how to accommodate their own needs as a wheelchair user. Working with a physical therapist gives them access to someone who understands what their needs are and how to help them develop a personalized plan. From there, it’s a lot easier to meet goals and overcome challenges related to using a wheelchair.

Developing Strength and Endurance

Using a wheelchair may require seniors to use muscles in ways that they never have before. Finding the right combination of exercises helps seniors to become stronger and to have the endurance that they need to use their wheelchairs effectively. Physical therapists work with seniors where they are to begin with and help them to build their strength.

Improving Balance

Balance is a lot more important for wheelchair users than many people realize. A person’s center of balance changes a great deal when they’re seated and moving around in a wheelchair. Physical therapy helps seniors to adjust to this change and improve their balance overall. Core exercises, in particular, can help seniors to feel more confident in their wheelchairs.

Focusing on Mobility

Physical therapists help seniors learn to be more mobile through the use of their wheelchairs. This can be difficult for aging adults who might have been forced to be immobile for a while due to physical limitations. Learning how to use the wheelchair properly improves mobility immeasurably, which can also improve physical and emotional challenges.

Relieving Pressure

Sitting in one position for a long period of time can create pressure sores for wheelchair users. It’s important that aging adults learn how to position themselves properly, using pressure-relieving techniques and other tools. Back supports, cushions, and even custom adjustments to the wheelchair itself can help immensely when managing pressure issues.

Developing Transfer Skills

It’s really important for seniors to know how to properly move in their wheelchairs, but it’s equally vital for them to know how to properly and safely transfer in and out of the chair when they need to do so. This helps to boost both independence and safety. Having these skills reduces injuries and lowers fall risk. Family caregivers need to learn proper transfer skills, too, so that they can help their seniors to be as safe as possible.

Physical therapy offers so many benefits to seniors who are new to using wheelchairs overall from improving health and reducing pain to keeping seniors safer and more independent. Working with a physical therapist ensures that seniors are empowered with the skills and knowledge that they need in order to use their wheelchairs properly.

If you or someone you know needs physical therapy in Blaine, 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.