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Healthcare Landscape

Back to Basics – The Physical Therapist

Long-term care residents often require the skills of Physical Therapists to address declines in their physical functioning. Physical Therapists utilize their specialized training to improve or maintain resident’s quality of life, independence, and safety. Through consistent screening and collaboration with the interdisciplinary team, Physical Therapists identify opportunities to intervene. If indicated, a comprehensive evaluation is performed to identify functional deficits and underlying impairments in gait, transfers, bed mobility, balance, range of motion, positioning, strength, and gross motor coordination.

Physical Therapists educate residents and their caregivers in the proper use and fit of assistive devices to improve safety, increase independence, and reduce the risk of falls. They design and implement therapeutic exercises and activities to improve strength and range of motion. The provision of Physical Therapy interventions and modalities can increase movement and decrease pain in joints for improvement in functional mobility.

Physical Therapists train residents in safety awareness and provide recommendations for environmental modifications when warranted. Physical Therapists train residents, caregivers, and family members on effective strategies to facilitate independence in ambulation, transfers, and bed mobility. They are trained in implementing various programs, which may include strengthening, balance training, gait training, gross motor training, positioning, safety awareness, environmental assessment, low vision, wound care, contracture management, compensatory training, and caregiver education.

Utilizing diligence and inter-disciplinary communication, Physical Therapists help prevent or slow decline, reduce the risk of falling, reduce re-hospitalization, decrease the amount of assistance needed from a caregiver, and enhance the overall quality of life for residents in long-term care settings. Contact a member of the Paragon Team to learn more benefits of Physical Therapy!

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