Senior rehabilitation is a topic that many seniors don’t know much about, but the benefits they could be receiving from it are countless. Senior rehabilitation typically includes physical, occupational therapy depending on the needs of each patient. The various therapies are meant to work together to help the senior achieve an independent and healthy day to day life again.
Seniors who have suffered an injury, illness, or chronic pain benefit from physical therapy because it helps to regain strength, range of motion, and balance. At the beginning of rehabilitation, the physical therapist will make a treatment plan with the senior, determining goals and challenges to set for them along the way. Physical therapy is a great way to reduce chronic pain and improve strength or endurance that has been lost with age.
Occupational therapy also aims to improve independence, but it does so with a much different approach than physical therapy. Occupational therapists aim to figure out what the senior is capable of already and then teach the senior to adapt their environment to help meet their needs better. With occupational therapy, seniors may learn to organize their own medication, cook, clean, and shower by themselves again after an injury or illness. Occupational therapy often focuses on improving fine motor skills that are a necessity for daily activities and designing specific tools to help the senior if their motor skills are still lacking.
Senior rehabilitation is unique for each senior. It may take a few days, weeks, or even months of rehabilitation therapy to achieve the goals of the senior. At the end of the rehabilitation program, the therapy team will determine how independent the senior is capable of being and make recommendations to family or caretakers about what the next steps should be. The senior will leave rehabilitation equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to continue their physical, and occupational therapy exercises at home to maintain the progress they made while in the rehabilitation facility.