Can Physical Therapy Help with Dementia?

Can Physical Therapy Help with Dementia?

January 22, 2020

Dementia is a horrific condition and, unfortunately, there is no cure for it. If someone in your family has been diagnosed with dementia, the only thing you can do is to try to help them maintain a high quality of life for as long as possible. One way that you can improve the quality of life for someone with dementia is through physical therapy.

How Does Physical Therapy Help?

Even though patients may more difficulties with their memories the more advanced their dementia becomes, they can still enjoy the benefits of exercise. This means that physical therapy can be quite helpful at every stage of dementia. The following are a few examples of how physical therapy can help:

  • Beginning stages - People who have dementia are at a higher risk of injuring themselves as a result of falls and medical complications caused by those falls. Physical therapy can help to improve their balance and muscle strength to help reduce this risk. During the beginning stages, physical therapy can also help to promote a sense of purpose, since it will make it easier for them to continue performing housekeeping activities, playing sports and doing other physical activities.
  • Later stages - Physical therapy will help to maintain a patient's current physical abilities even as their dementia gets progressively worse. It could also help to slow the rate of their functional decline. Physical therapists will typically focus on promoting flexibility to help prevent muscle contractures. They will also help to increase the ease of daily mobility by practicing task-specific activities; for example, getting in and out of bed. Additionally, physical therapists can also promote skin integrity by teaching pressure relief strategies and even help assess a patient's needs for assistive devices.

Besides helping the patient, physical therapists can also help to educate the person who is living with the patient. For example, they can teach you about home safety, how to reduce the risk of falls, and how to improve your communication with someone who is suffering from dementia.

Schedule a Physical Therapy Consultation Today

If a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, then you should consider getting them physical therapy treatment to not only help improve their physical health, but to help reduce feelings of isolation. To schedule an appointment with a professional physical therapist to discuss a loved one suffering from dementia, be sure to contact us at Advanced Motion Therapeutics today.