News & Resources

Physical Therapy for Healthy Aging

October 13, 2022

Think physical therapy is only for people recovering from surgery or an injury? Think again! In addition to helping people recover from injuries or planned surgeries, physical therapists are experts in movement and exercise, and their expertise can help older people stay active and independent as they get older. Our physical therapists (PTs) work to help each guest reach their highest level of independence through the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. 

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and we have so much to say about how much physical therapy can prevent injuries and help keep people, especially older adults, healthy and out of the hospital. 

Physical therapists perform detailed assessments to learn about each patient’s personal health history and understand their goals for therapy. They may also assess the patient’s physical abilities as well and involve other health professionals if necessary. 

Fitness means a person is in their optimal health and overall wellbeing. Physical therapy is one way we can maintain our fitness as we get older. We know that physical activity is important to stay healthy. But as we get older, our bodies and abilities can change, and it can be a struggle to get the right amount of activity in each day. But abstaining from exercise can exacerbate health conditions and prevent older adults from living independently. Physical therapists are specially trained to assist older adults improve in the following areas: 

Strength. PTs prescribe specific activities to help older adults build up their strength. They understand how to slowly add resistance to build strength safely and effectively. 

Balance. A good sense of balance can help prevent falls as we get older, and PTs are very knowledgeable about what we can do to make sure we don’t fall. As part of the balance assessment, therapists may evaluate their patient’s gait, feet, shoes, and medications.  

Flexibility. This critical aspect of health can be addressed by heat therapy, massage, and movement exercise.  

Posture. Increasing strength can help address posture. PTs help their patients with motions to improve posture and information about what correct posture looks and feels like. 

Ridgeview Transitional Rehab offers a large and fully equipped therapy gym, providing each guest the space and the right equipment to facilitate recovery. Specialized orthopedic rehabilitation equipment, including weightless treadmills and advanced modality machines, is designed to increase strength and help with recovery.