Dementia is a distressing and debilitating condition for which there is no cure, but using physical and occupational therapy as part of a carefully designed care plan can help improve quality of life for people who have the condition. The expert team at Reddy-Care Physical & Occupational Therapy in Farmingdale and Great Neck, New York, cares for people affected by dementia with great compassion, using a range of gentle therapies to improve physical health and help slow down cognitive decline. Call the office today to find out more or book an appointment online.
Dementia isn’t a disease, but it’s a collection of symptoms that’s typical of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.
Dementia develops as a result of damage or disease in the areas of the brain responsible for memory, language, learning, and decision-making. Patients with dementia experience problems with cognitive functions that cause loss of memory and diminished thinking and reasoning.
Dementia isn’t curable, but as part of a treatment program, physical therapy helps to improve the patient’s quality of life. In many cases, participating in physical therapy helps to slow cognitive decline in patients with dementia due to the increase of blood flow to the brain that occurs during light exercise and other activities.
Many patients who have dementia begin to lose their mobility, causing balance and gait issues. Physical therapy can help patients maintain their balance and physical functioning, helping decrease the risk of falls.
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 problems affecting patients who have dementia, such as arthritic pain, osteoporosis, and incontinence.
As well as the physical benefits of therapy, there are social benefits. By establishing a personal connection, physical therapists encourage patients who have dementia to develop new relationships and build strong social connections over time.
This can also help with relieving stress during treatments, creating a more comfortable experience overall.
Reddy-Care Physical & Occupational Therapy staff work closely with primary care physicians and/or caregivers to create an appropriate and effective treatment plan.
Each patient’s personal needs, medical history, and health restrictions are taken into account when creating the treatment plan, and patients undergo an evaluation to determine any problem areas that need working on.
Physical therapists understand that people who have dementia require personalized care, and treatments are built around each patient’s interests and abilities.
For example, a patient may enjoy playing cards or looking at old pictures. By incorporating these hobbies into treatments, physical therapists can help decrease stress, and increase both comfort and emotional development.
If you have a loved one who’s affected by dementia, talk to the staff at Reddy-Care Physical & Occupational Therapy to find out how they can help. Call today or book an appointment online.