The first time Dora fell it felt like a fluke. She suddenly lost her balance and found herself on the floor. At the time the 75 year old was quite active and enjoyed living alone, caring for the home she loved, and taking daily walks around her neighborhood. Though she was a bit shaken after the fall, she was thankfully uninjured and quickly returned to life as usual.
But within the next year Dora endured two more falls—each more serious than the last. With her balance becoming increasingly shaky, every task or outing seemed to carry a life-threatening risk. Afraid to walk unaided or to leave her home, Dora was getting depressed. She constantly worried that the next fall would lead to a broken hip, or worse, a head injury.
Physical Well-Being Impacts Quality of Life
For many older adults, decreased mobility, chronic pain, and the risk of falling make daily tasks difficult or even impossible to do on their own. This can be disheartening for those who want to live independently.
The good news is that there are ways that older adults can improve their mobility, maintain independence for longer, and improve their quality of life.
Seniors At Home’s Physical Therapy and Rehab Services offer at-home physical therapy services to seniors living in San Francisco. By focusing on balance, strength, and flexibility, these private sessions help seniors manage chronic conditions or pains, increase mobility, and protect themselves against the dangers of fractures and falls.
Lindsey Gendreau, lead physical therapist for Seniors At Home’s new Physical Therapy and Rehab Services, says, “Older adults have more control over their pain and mobility than they might realize.”
And you don’t need to follow the rigorous routine of 84 year old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to receive the effects of movement.
According to Lindsey, staying as physically strong as possible starts with education. By understanding the postural issues, pain points, and habits that contribute to reduced mobility, older adults can learn how to manage and prevent common injuries. Regular, targeted exercises are important, too—balance exercises and weight training can help slow down the rate of bone loss and improve balance, helping to protect against fractures and falls. All of this is critical when it comes to living a safer, healthier, and more independent life.
Lindsey says, “Physical health plays a big part in maintaining quality of life as we age. Through physical therapy and exercise, there is always hope of getting stronger, improving, and managing pain effectively.”
When Dora met Lindsey, she was not only physically shaky on her feet but also lived in fear of the next potential fall. Over the course of several months, Dora and Lindsey worked on Dora’s strength and dynamic balance as well as incorporating fall prevention strategies. Through regular physical therapy sessions Dora’s confidence grew, and so did her muscular strength.
Soon Dora was able tend to her house again—laundry, cooking, and cleaning were no longer such daunting tasks. But the true joy came when she was able to leave the house alone again to do errands or walk around the block.
Lindsey says, “As Dora got stronger, I could see what an enormous difference it made in her quality of life. She was happy and active again and most importantly, she’s been able to reclaim her independence.”