One of the side effects of social distancing unfortunately, has been a slowing down or stopping of our normal exercise routines. With that comes less flexibility, balance and strength. Physical therapy is often thought of as something we do after an orthopedic injury or surgery, but in reality, physical therapy can help us remain independent and agile as we age. For seniors PT plays a significant preventative role and the physical therapists at Pemi-Baker Community Health know just how to help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a third of all people over the age of 65 fall each year, making it the leading cause of injury in seniors. Every year, tens of thousands of older people are hospitalized with hip fractures. As many as 20 percent of them die within a year of the injury, while the rest never return to their prior level of function.
As we age, our bodies undergo a natural decline in flexibility, strength and balance, making it harder to maintain desired activity levels, and making us prone to falls. The National Institutes of Health cites physical therapy as a means to mitigate those losses, as well as to increase overall fitness. Fitness equates to independence.
Pemi-Baker Community Health’s Outpatient Physical Therapy Director, Matt Scagliarini, PT, DPT says, “We want the community to know that as an essential service, Pemi-Baker is continuing to provide rehab therapy regardless of what challenges come our way. We are following CDC guidelines to prioritize our patients and keep them safe during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic by staggering schedules, reducing traffic flow and proper cleaning between patients. We have been and will continue to provide physical therapy care to our clients while maintaining a safe environment throughout the coronavirus pandemic.”
Rehab services at Pemi-Baker include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Together, these services treat a span of ailments that commonly affect people in their senior years: orthopedic, pre and post-surgical care, cardio-pulmonary rehab; speech and movement disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease, stroke or other neurological conditions.
“A lot of clients experience chronic pain,” adds Scagliarini. “Having lived a full, active life tends to leave you with aches and pains from repeated use. Our heated therapy pool can help reduce the strain on your joints, allowing you to work on your balance and improve your strength safely and comfortably.”
Physical therapy can also help control the pain of many age-related problems, like arthritis and fatigue. “Physical therapy along with medication management by your PCP, provides a way to manage pain and maintain current levels of function, without falling into the trap of medication dependency,” says Scagliarini.
Among the 11 Pemi-Baker home health therapists and 9 outpatient therapists, their specialties include: Geriatrics, Myofascial & Cranio Sacral Therapy, Visceral & Neural Manipulations, Active Release Techniques (ART), IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization), PelviDry Needling, Vertigo & TMJ, and the LSVT BIG program for their Parkinson’s clients.
Therapy at Pemi-Baker is actually a way of life. As Scagliarini sums it up: “We want to be involved in client’s lives at their homes as well as at our location on Boulder Point in Plymouth. We will work with you to keep you as active and healthy as possible.” Call your PCP today to ask for a referral for physical therapy at Pemi-Baker Community Health. Appointments are available.