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Can Physical Therapy Help Seniors Improve Their Ability to Perform Daily Tasks?

Physical therapy can help seniors with routine care for a better quality of life.
Physical therapy can help seniors with routine care for a better quality of life.

Seniors experience a variety of health changes as they age and some of those changes make it more difficult to maintain the quality of life they’re accustomed to experiencing. Simple tasks like getting dressed, bathing, and even moving around their home can become incredibly difficult. These tasks are called activities of daily living, and tools like physical therapy can make it easier for seniors to perform these tasks. How does all of that work?


What Are ADLs?

ADLs, or activities of daily living, are basic tasks that people perform on a daily basis. These tasks help them to take care of themselves and of their basic needs. Because of health challenges, injuries, and aging, seniors start to have trouble with these seemingly simple tasks. Some examples of ADLs include:

  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Transferring, such as from sitting to standing
  • Eating
  • Managing incontinence

People tend to do these tasks without thinking much about them until they become much more difficult. Performing these tasks independently helps seniors maintain their dignity, stay autonomous, and protect their self-esteem. When ADLs become more difficult, quality of life often suffers.


What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Physical therapists are trained experts in movement and function. They are able to use a variety of different techniques to help their patients move better and to have a better quality of life.

In terms of improving ADLs in aging adults, physical therapists first assess mobility, strength, and balance. They use that information to identify areas where challenges exist and then put together customized plans to help their patients improve those issues.


Targeted Interventions in Physical Therapy

The exact interventions that physical therapists use depend on the person’s needs. For instance, strength training exercises help to improve both muscle strength and endurance. Exercises that improve balance and coordination make it easier for seniors to walk safely, reducing the risk of falling. Range of motion exercises help improve joint mobility, flexibility, and ease of movement.

Physical therapists also help their patients get the education they need to understand how these different exercises improve their overall well-being.


Promoting Independence and Quality of Life

Working with physical therapists can help to improve confidence, independence, and an overall sense of control over daily life for aging adults. Seniors often feel as if their lives are no longer their own, especially if they find themselves needing a lot more help with activities of daily living than they needed in the past.

Reducing functional decline even a little bit helps seniors to feel more empowered overall. These interventions take time and patience for seniors to experience the full benefits that physical therapy has to offer.


Improving activities of daily living is a key part of any plan to help seniors feel more independent and confident about their abilities. Physical therapy helps seniors to be stronger and to have the best possible quality of life. When seniors feel empowered, they’re better able to age gracefully and to age in place for as long as possible.



If you or an aging loved one are considering physical therapy in Chicago, IL, please contact the caring staff at Platinum Home Health Care, Inc. today at (708) 995-7758.

Platinum Home Health Care, Inc. is a top provider of professional medical home health care services in Chicago, Orland Park, Tinley Park, Lemont, New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Frankfort, Mokena, Chicago Ridge, Homer Glen, Boone County, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County, and Winnebago County and surrounding areas.

Platinum Home Health Care Staff

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