7 Powerful Benefits of Skilled Rehabilitative Care for Seniors
Skilled rehabilitation is a powerful and versatile tool, and one that can be integral in senior care. Senior rehabilitation patients experience a whole host of benefits, including greater independence, boosted confidence and improved strength. These benefits can open new doors for seniors, allowing them to enjoy the rich and fulfilling retirement they deserve.
Here are just 7 of many great benefits of skilled rehabilitation for seniors:
1. Reduces the Risk of Falls
More than one in four seniors over the age of 65 suffer a fall each year, according to the CDC. Skilled physical therapy is an excellent way to reduce this risk, and in turn the risk of complications like hip fractures. Even when a fall does not cause any serious injury, they can lead to reduced confidence and increased anxiety about having another fall. As a result, fall prevention is a vital tool for senior health, and physical therapy is an effective way to strengthen the lower body, increase movement and improve balance.
2. Aids Recovery from Illness or Injury
If you or a loved one has recently had an injury or surgery, or is in recovery from an illness like stroke or heart attack, skilled rehabilitation could be greatly beneficial. Physical therapy and occupational therapy can help seniors adapt to new physical abilities in activities of daily living, while also improving physical strength, balance and mobility.
3. Reduces Risk of Hospitalization or Rehospitalization
Going to the hospital as an aging senior brings with it its own risks, from increased exposure to infection to a heightened risk of pressure sores, sleep deprivation and blood clots. By aiding recovery from illnesses and injury and reducing the risk of falls and other accidents, skilled rehabilitation serves as a great preventative measure – reducing both hospitalizations and the hazards that can accompany this.
4. Strengthens Muscles and Improves Balance
Reduced mobility and strength are common struggles for aging seniors, and can be triggered by long stays in hospital, illnesses or injuries. Physical therapy can help seniors rebuild muscular strength in a safe, supportive and controlled environment. In turn, this improved mobility can allow seniors to rebuild the confidence they need to live independently.
5. Improves Speech and Eating
Speech therapy can give rise to a whole host of benefits for senior rehabilitation patients. For example, seniors who have suffered a stroke can be provided speech therapy to help them regain their ability to communicate. Effective communication is absolutely vital for the health and wellbeing of seniors; allowing them to express their needs and emotions so professional caregivers can provide the tailored physical and emotional support they need. Speech therapy can also help seniors with chewing and swallowing. Particularly for seniors with dementia, mealtimes often become increasingly difficult. By improving chewing and swallowing abilities, speech therapy can help ensure their vital nutritional needs continue to be met.
6. Maximizes Independence
Skilled rehabilitation can help seniors independently and safely complete activities of daily living and personal care tasks like washing, using the bathroom, cooking and cleaning. Occupational therapy is a great option for seniors who feel less able to move around their own living space confidently. For seniors who still live in their own home, navigating obstacles like staircases, bathtubs or high shelves and cupboards can feel daunting. With skilled physical and occupational therapy, seniors can improve their strength while learning how to apply these newfound skills to their personal living environment.
7. Improves Quality of Life
The increased confidence, physical ability and independence that skilled rehabilitation can offer seniors ultimately leads to a greater quality of life. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy leave senior rehabilitation patients feeling empowered and more able to adapt to the unique challenges of aging. Armed with greater abilities to move, balance, communicate and complete activities of daily living with confidence, seniors are free to live the life they love.
If you’d like to find out more about how skilled rehabilitation could benefit you or a loved one, our director of therapy will be happy to answer your questions. At Chapin Home, our expert rehabilitation team offer physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to meet the diverse needs of our short and long-term senior rehabilitation patients.