Every year thousands of mature adults are forced to leave their homes and move into nursing homes or assisted living centers. According to Mary Anne Johnson, M.D., “Most nursing home admissions are unplanned.” For this reason, the decision to transition, “Mom” or “Dad” from home to “long term care “can be an emotional minefield, often creating feelings of distrust, resentment, and even betrayal amongst family members. Those being forced to move resent being made to five up their homes and independence while their adult children may feel immense guilt for insisting that “Mom” or “Dad” be placed in a safer environment. Some families never recover from the emotional damage inflicted during this life-changing transition.
“She’s really gone downhill since I saw her last”
The primary reason for nursing home placement in the U.S. is physical impairment, weakness, painful joints, poor balance, limited flexibility, or lack of endurance. Any of these can make it difficult or even dangerous to perform simple tasks like cooking, bathing, stair climbing, or even getting up from furniture. Family members are often shocked to visit and find an older loved one has declined over a short period of time and feel obligated to raise the alarm to others that something needs to be done.
Let’s face it, declining strength and mobility is just a part of growing older. The sad truth is – there will likely come a day when we need to be cared for. But you know what is even sadder? Many allow that day to arrive prematurely due to a lack of knowledge and action. The truth is, our bodies are amazing and resilient machines that respond positively to exercise and activity at any age. Studies have repeatedly shown that people in their 70’s, 80’s, & 90’s achieve greater strength, balance, coordination, and every other positive benefit associated with exercise and physical activity.
Physical Therapists are the experts at helping people overcome physical impairment…. It’s what they do!
Physical therapists are the experts at helping mature adults exercise and improve physically. What’s more, they’re typically available to come into your home and assist you by creating a plan of care that can keep you living independently.
Don’t wait for a fall in the kitchen or a slip on the ice to result in an unplanned assisted living admission. Make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps to remain active, strong, balanced and independent.
For more information on how a physical therapist can help keep you functional and active give us a call at 701-293-6037!