Dementia and other cognitive dysfunctions can be addressed through physical therapy treatments at Together Physical Therapy. While there, unfortunately, is no known cure for such ailments, physical therapy can help manage and maintain certain problem areas that a patient may be experiencing, such as balance, motor function, incontinence, or mobility. For more information on how Together Physical Therapy can help and assist patients with dementia, contact our Hadley, MA physical therapy office today!
How can physical therapy help dementia?
The main goal of physical therapy is to improve the patient’s quality of life, which is exactly what we can do for dementia patients. In many cases, participating in physical therapy can even help in slowing the cognitive decline in patients with dementia, as light exercises and activities help in increasing blood flow to the brain and keeping it alert.
Physical therapy can also decrease the fall risk of dementia patients. Many patients suffering from dementia begin to lose their mobility, causing balance and gait issues. This can be addressed and improved with the help of one of our Hadley, MA physical therapists, thus decreasing the risk of fall-related injuries. For patients losing their motor function, specific motor function training can help enhance physical movements, stabilize posture, and improve body mechanics. Additional treatments, such as manual therapy or pelvic floor rehabilitation, can also help improve common conditions in dementia patients, such as arthritic pain, osteoporosis, or incontinence.
Perhaps the most unconsidered aspect of physical therapy for dementia patients is the social benefits that come along with it. By establishing a personal connection, physical therapists can encourage dementia patients to both develop new relationships and build strong social connections over time. This can also help with relieving stress during treatments and creating a more comfortable experience overall.
Many people don’t immediately think of physical therapy as part of a treatment plan for dementia patients, but it can actually be extremely beneficial. According to Nicole Dawson, PT, Ph.D., a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy, “There’s great literature about the neuropathology of dementia and why it causes certain symptoms. We in the physical therapy profession must familiarize ourselves with best practices for overcoming barriers to treating these patients, then address their needs just as we would those of any other person.”
How are treatment plans created?
One of our Hadley, MA physical therapists will work closely with the dementia patient’s primary physician and/or caregiver in order to arrive at the best possible treatment plan. The patient’s personal needs, medical history, and health restrictions will also be taken into account when creating a treatment plan. Patients will undergo an evaluation to determine any problem areas that may need to be worked on, and our physical therapists will design an individualized treatment plan based on their needs and the information collected.
At Together Physical Therapy, we understand that cognitive dysfunctions require personalized care. We strive to build treatment plans around a patient’s abilities and interests. For example, some dementia patients may be driven by a favorite activity or pastime, such as playing cards or looking at old pictures. By incorporating these hobbies into treatments, we can help decrease stress, and increase both comfort and emotional development. If you know someone in Hadley, MA suffering from dementia who could benefit from physical therapy treatments, contact Together Physical Therapy today. We’ll help them receive the help they need and work hard to improve their overall quality of life.