How Physical Therapy Can Benefit Your Elderly Loved One Suffering With Dementia

In the past, health care professionals did not consider physical therapy for patients suffering from dementia because it is a terminal condition. However, some patients that have neurodegenerative diseases can live for several years before they are completely consumed by the condition. More medical personnel are considering the benefits of physical therapy for patients with neurodegenerative disease to help improve their quality of life despite the fact there is no cure for these types of conditions. If your elderly loved one is suffering from dementia, check out some of the benefits of physical therapy.

Occupational Therapy Can Help

Most families dealing with a loved one that has dementia see that person being unable to remember to do or say things. He or she may not remember their loved ones from one day to the next. Because of these severe memory losses, most people automatically assume treatments like rehabilitation and physical therapies are not worth the effort. However, occupational therapy can help your loved one suffering from mid-stage dementia perform tasks like bathing and getting dressed. Patients suffering from mid-stage dementia have an easier time eating on their own after occupational therapy as well.

Physical Therapy Can Help Reduce Accidents

When your loved engages in physical therapy, he or she will get a better grasp on walking, reducing the risk of serious falls. The physical therapist that visits your loved one may discuss how to rearrange the furniture to make navigating around the house easier on your elderly loved one. You may be asked to install helpful items like bath tub rails or a toilet seat that is raised up. By providing a safer environment for your loved one, his or her physical therapist can focus on helping that person's muscles and balance become stronger through gentle exercises.

Avoiding Infectious Ulcers And Skin Rashes

If someone lies in bed and simply does nothing but stare at the television or an open window all the time, he or she will experience severe decubitus ulceration on areas like the bottom of their heels and their buttocks. Lying in bed with an adult diaper on can create serious, painful skin rashes as well. When your loved one is able to move around and stay out of the bed, he or she can enjoy clear and healthy skin. Moving around also helps to increase blood flow that can help fuel their organs and brain functioning. If your loved remains in bed all the time, he or she is not getting the stimulation necessary to maintain the brain functioning they have left, thus causing him or her to slip faster into the causeways of neurodegenerative disease.

Discuss with your elderly loved one's physician about the possibility of physical and occupation therapy. He or she may be able to recommend a program like those offered by Hillcrest Nursing Center.