In the United States, multigenerational living is a growing trend. Multigenerational living may include two generations (adult children living with their parents) or three generations (grandparents, parents, and children) sharing a single household. In multigenerational households, adult children often help their aging parents with their daily activities and vice versa. One of the most important matters to help aging parents with is their health. Aging parents may forget about medical appointments, struggle to arrive at appointments due to transportation issues, find insurance confusing, or may not make their self-care a priority. If your aging parent is considering or has started physical therapy rehabilitation, there are some simple ways you can help them in their recovery.
Could your parent benefit from physical therapy?
As movement experts, physical therapists help patients find relief from their pain as well as improving their mobility. Whether it is from a recent injury like a fall or ongoing chronic pain in the hand, physical therapy is a safe way to manage pain. For elderly patients, finding relief from pain can have a huge impact on their entire way of living. One example is the increased independence some patients experience to improved mobility. Since chronic pain can limit a person’s ability to move easily, some people may become increasingly isolated. As a result, people living in pain may also experience emotional distress.
How to support your parents with physical therapy:
1. Help them create a plan for transportation
One of the biggest challenges elderly patients face in their physical therapy rehabilitation is attending scheduled appointments. While patients may occasionally miss an appointment, it is important to be seen often during rehabilitation. This way, the physical therapist can learn what is or is not working for that patient. Based on that information, they may adjust their care plan. Physical therapists also monitor how exercises are performed to ensure proper form and prevent possible injuries. Touch bases with your parent to learn how they will be attending their physical therapy appointments. If they have limited access to transportation, help them by driving them to appointments or teaching them how to use apps like Lyft or Uber.
2. Understand your parents’ insurance coverage
Insurance can be confusing! So, check in with your parents to see if they have questions regarding their insurance coverage. In addition, it’s important to know whether or not the deductible, which renews annually, has been met. If your parents have not yet met their deductible, they’ll likely be responsible for the cost of the visit and may have a co-pay. You may also want to learn more about Medicare’s coverage choices for your parent.
3. Learn about your parents’ at home exercise program
For the best results, it’s important patients follow their home care plan, which includes exercising in between physical therapy appointments. At Performance Physical Therapy, patients can use the app Keet Health to follow along and stay up to date with their exercise program. If you live in a multigenerational home, find ways to encourage your parent with their exercises and help them stay on track. One way to do this is to find time to exercise together or make a positive note of your exercise activities on a household calendar.
4. Show your support
Physical therapy requires patients to be actively involved in their recovery. Acknowledging how your parent is progressing during their rehabilitation can help them feel their hard effort is paying off! Also, ask them what their physical therapy goals are to help them stay motivated and to learn more about their progress.
As our Roseville Clinic Director, Dr. Megan Self, PT, DPT explains, “My goal [with patients] is almost always the same: to create a personalized program to help someone achieve their goals. This requires a great deal of input from the patient – physical therapy is not a passive endeavor! Then after the goals are delineated, then we have to see what works and what does not…As soon as patients begin to improve they typically get excited and become more involved in their porgress. Pretty soon they are telling me when it’s time to progress exercises!”
Whether you live in a multigenerational home or want to be involved with your parents’ health care, be sure to ask your parents how you can help to best understand their unique needs.
Want to learn more if physical therapy rehabilitation is right for your loved ones? Call us today to learn more about physical therapy!
Performance Physical Therapy is the Sacramento region’s favorite Physical Therapy team. With physical therapy appointments available within 24 hours, you can book your Physical Therapy, Aquatic Therapy, Hand Therapy, and Vestibular Rehabilitation appointment and begin treatment quickly. Additionally, we proudly serve in four locations: Folsom, Roseville, Rancho Cordova and J street In East Sacramento. Let us help you live your most mobile life and get you back to doing the activities you love!