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The Importance Of Physical Therapy In The Nursing Home Setting

The Importance of Physical Therapy in the Nursing Home Setting

Being physically active has its incredible benefits such as improving a person’s health but, as we age it becomes difficult to exercise safely and effectively. For this reason, nursing home settings have implemented physical therapy to help seniors exercise and recuperate faster from illnesses or injuries. There are a wide array of treatment options for pain, and it is essential to choose the right one to get the desired results for the elderly and provide the geriatric care that they need. This article guide sheds light on the benefits of physical therapy for seniors in a nursing home.

How Physical Therapy Helps to Care for Seniors

Among the age-related physical issues that the elderly struggle with include:

  • Heart disease
  • Poor eyesight
  • Reduced balance
  • Loss of mobility
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Decrease in memory
  • Developing conditions such as arthritis that increases pain and reduced coordination of body organs

A combination of two or more of these age-related issues makes seniors be at a higher risk of accidents and falling which lead to injuries and illnesses. Thanks to physio in Waterford and other local communities who aid nursing home residents with exercise programs that are incorporated with physical therapy. To decrease the likelihood of accidents and injuries occurring, therapists have specialized in exercise programs to help the elderly boost their balance. This always ensures their safety.

This service comprises of various activities and this helps the elderly with their physical and mental well-being. Physical activity has a significant effect on the mental well-being of the elderly because it helps relieve stress and worry less.

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Physical therapy in a nursing home setting is tailored to suit the needs of every individual and this ensures that each patient gets the best results. To do so, physical therapists are well experienced and they access the condition of each patient before tailoring their specific exercises and programs. The earlier an older adult starts their program the better their health will improve.

Physical therapy helps to reduce discomfort from health problems such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and arthritis. Such long-term care is important in a nursing home because it helps with the mobility and safety of the elderly for a long time.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for the Elderly in Nursing Homes

2Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

Below are some advantages that the elderly enjoy from physical therapy in nursing homes.


Having physical therapists in nursing homes allows the elderly to access their array of services more conveniently. This can be daunting for seniors in an outpatient setting since it requires energy and time. Conversely, in a nursing home setting the elderly can manage their services without having to travel and this saves them time and energy because their physical therapy is located on-site.


In an outpatient setting, the costs of physical therapy can be expensive because of transfer costs, other related costs, equipment, and other related costs. Also, such services are not covered by insurance companies, and including them in the policy could turn out to be even more costly. On the other hand, therapies and services provided by nursing homes are covered by insurance companies because they are included as part of the rehabilitation process for seniors.

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In-home respite care is increasingly becoming popular since it helps to solve time and transportation inconveniences. Though it comes with its limitations, physical therapy requires special equipment and it is impossible to transport some of the equipment to homes. This limits a patient to the services they can be offered by a physical therapist. On the other hand, when seniors are in nursing homes they have access to all the available and necessary equipment which makes them have a faster recovery because they receive care of the highest level.

Coordination of care

In a nursing home setting, many professionals range from occupational therapists, dietitians, speech therapists, and social workers. Therefore, seniors work with the very best and they benefit by having the best coordination care anyone would wish for. This enables them to save energy, money, and time because there is no need to go out looking for individual services which might take their toll on the health of the older adult. In nursing homes, there is efficient coordination from all these specialists and keeping track of a patient’s progress becomes much easier.

Exercise programs for older adults in nursing homes

Here are examples of exercises that physical therapists offer to seniors in nursing homes.

Balancing exercises. Seniors need to maintain their balance and among the simple exercises that are intended for them are walking in straight lines and standing exercises. Also, they are taught to maintain their body weight which helps by boosting their balance.

Walking exercises. This exercise is for people with limited mobility and it includes cupping, short bouts of walking as well as strength and balance training.

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Stretching exercises. Stretching is important because it reduces muscle tension and this alleviates discomfort and it improves a senior’s range of motion. Stretching is good for seniors with disabilities and limitations.

The bottom line

Physical therapy involves simple treatments that must be done properly so that the patient can get long-term benefits. It is important to find a reputable physical therapist who will assist in long-term care rehabilitation. To ensure your loved one ages gracefully, find them a nursing home with the right types of physical therapy.