When seniors need to recover from an illness or an injury, it could be months before they’re back to where they were before. Physical therapy at home can make shorter work of that recovery time and help seniors rebuild flexibility, strength, and mobility that they might have otherwise lost. The problem is that physical therapy is hard work, and your senior could suddenly lose motivation. These tips can help.
Set Goals for Physical Therapy
Goals help with any big project, and working with a physical therapist is no exception. A good physical therapist will help seniors set specific goals for treatment. Those goals really should adhere to the SMART goal-setting philosophy. This means that the goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive. Having goals gives everyone a plan for going forward.
Having accountability can be really helpful for some seniors when they’re working through a physical therapy plan. That accountability doesn’t have to be strict or complicated at all. Seniors might mention their goals to a friend or family member in passing. The key is that telling someone else about those goals makes them feel more real.
Incorporate Exercise into Daily Routines
Physical therapy is all about improving mobility. The exercises that a physical therapist recommends are also ones that the patient is expected to practice outside of sessions, too. In order to get the most out of working with a physical therapist, seniors should try incorporating some of those exercises into their daily lives and routines.
Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
A positive attitude pays off in a lot of respects, but especially in difficult situations where it’s tough to stay motivated. Helping seniors to remember that progress doesn’t always look like progress while it’s happening can also help. It’s okay to vent at times, too. Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean always being positive no matter what.
Track Progress and Results
One way to keep up with how things are really going involves seniors tracking their own progress and results. This helps a lot when it seems like they’re not getting anywhere. Progress with physical therapy can feel slow in the midst of things, but seniors are often surprised how far they’ve come when they start tracking their progress.
Revisit Goals and Progress Regularly
Sometimes goals don’t stay the same from the start to the finish. That’s true with physical therapy, too. Seniors may want to work with both their physical therapist and their doctor to determine whether they need to adjust their goals. These progress checks help everyone to stay on the same page about what’s happening with recovery.
Staying motivated during long periods of recovery is always tough. Having goals and tracking progress toward those goals can help immensely. Likewise, sharing what’s happening with people who care about them is another great way for seniors to see how physical therapy really is making a difference in how they feel and how well their recovery is going.