The number one thing seniors want? To keep their independence. They have lived their whole life by relying on their mind and their body, and they don’t want to stop anytime soon. And they shouldn’t have to – especially if they are taking the right precautions as they grow older. The best way for seniors to keep their independence is to avoid injuries that can compromise their physicality.
In this article, we will discuss different ways seniors can reduce the risk of injury as they age, compiled by our physical therapy team in Gloucester County.
#1. Prevent falls. Falls pose a serious health risk for seniors. They can result in trips to the emergency room, surgeries, and long recoveries – all requiring dependent support. One way to prevent falling is to help strengthen and support the body through physical therapy. With physical therapy, seniors can improve balance, gain a wider range of motion, and develop quicker reactions to unexpected obstacles. Older adults can also reduce the risk of falling by staying active through a consistent fitness routine. Perhaps the easiest and most immediate action seniors can take to prevent falls is to remove hazards and take safety precautions within their living space. Some examples include installing nightlights, putting clothes and belongings away, wearing supportive shoes, and making sure carpets are properly secured to the floor.
#2. Prioritize fitness. Briefly mentioned above, daily exercise is key for seniors to remain mobile, independent and healthy. It’s important to start off slow, however, if fitness is a whole new ballgame. Great starter workouts for older adults include taking a daily walk or starting a low-impact chair yoga class. It’s important to note that a new fitness routine needs to be carefully managed to prevent injuries or over-straining of the muscles. A physical therapist can help older adults develop an exercise plan that addresses all health conditions or concerns to ensure their physical needs are properly managed.
#3. Double-check medications. As we age, our roster of medications can increase. Keeping track of doses and schedules can quickly become confusing and even dangerous if you don’t have a proper organizational method in place. Taking the wrong medications together or ingesting the wrong dosage could result in harmful side effects that could impair balance and increase the risk of falls or other injuries. With that being said, seniors should look into organizing their medications with a clearly labeled pill box and setting reminders to take each one via a smartphone app like PillBoxie.
Physical therapy at our senior community in Pitman, NJ
Many seniors underestimate what physical therapy can achieve, especially when it comes to reducing the risk of developing mobility issues that could potentially threaten their independence. Sometimes it just takes more than going on a daily walk or properly managing medications to solve root issues related to coordination, balance, and core strength. That’s where physical therapy comes in.
At UMC at Pitman, our physical therapists, part of our short-term rehab program, believe in strengthening and restoring each resident’s mobility to the fullest extent. If you or a loved one has already suffered from a fall or injury, our team can develop individualized recovery programs made up of therapy, medical treatments, and dietary requirements to assist in the smoothest recovery possible. They can even take into account the social amenities each resident can take part in while staying at our active assisted living community in Gloucester County, New Jersey.
For more information about senior physical therapy at UMC at Pitman, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/pitman/
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/pitman/blog/top-3-ways-to-reduce-the-risk-of-injury-as-you-age/