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We offer a variety of care here at Waunakee Manor. Physical therapy is one of the vital tools we have in our toolbox when it comes to keeping your loved one active and healthy. Understanding more about physical therapy and its value is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to our community members’ well-being.

At Waunakee Manor, we do all we can to ensure those in our care are healthy, safe, and happy. Each part of our daily activities, events, and care are interconnected and essential to maintaining our community members’ health and wellness.

With that said, for the next three posts, I would like to shine a light on three vital elements of this all-encompassing care: physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

While you probably have a sense of what all these are, especially if you have an appointment with one of our therapists coming up soon, there are some key details not everyone knows about. These details can make a huge difference when it comes to your health and well-being.

So, let’s talk about the first therapy we will be highlighting: physical therapy.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation that focuses on restoring, maintaining, and enhancing physical function and mobility. In technical terms, it focuses on gross motor skills. These are skills and strengths that deal with larger muscle groups, such as arms, legs, and the upper and lower body. In our work, we focus a lot on balance, functional skills such as bed mobility and transfers, walking, and lower body strength because most folks we work with require assistance with this specific area of the body.

Physical therapy is commonly employed to help those experiencing chronic physical pain or recovering from an injury, medical procedure, or other significant physical incidents. It is different from standard physical conditioning or training in that it utilizes rehabilitation techniques to restore or improve preexisting ability that has either diminished or otherwise been lost.

Physical therapy includes a wide variety of beneficial practices, including:

  • Balance and stability – We perform many activities that improve sitting, standing, and balance while walking and everyday tasks, as well as maintaining and improving your coordination.
  • Regular exercise – It is essential to incorporate traditional conditioning and situation-appropriate exercising into physical therapy. Whether that is working out or just moving as much as you can, the focus is to keep moving on a schedule.
  • Strengthening and flexibility exercise – While this can include weights, resistance, and other types of more advanced training, often we look at simple exercises that can increase strength relative to your ability and fitness level.

It is crucial to remain mindful of some of the factors that may lead to needing physical therapy. Some of these are age-related, while others may be the result of outside factors such as injury. These can include:

  • Difficulties with balance and loss of mobility
  • Illnesses such as heart disease
  • Decrease in muscle strength
  • Increase of pain from conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, and lack of coordination
  • Increase risk or instance of falling
  • Increased memory and/or cognitive issues

If these issues remain unnoticed or untreated, the outcomes can often become quite serious. It is critical to understand and continually assess the signs of declining or impaired physical health.

What is the Goal of Physical Therapy?

We take our mission of restoring you to your best possible health very seriously. We know this is your livelihood, your ability to do what you love and what makes you…well, you. So, when we make a plan, we make it for you with the end goal of your success and the life you want in mind.

Our team will work with you to make an individualized plan designed specifically to improve your physical condition. Ideally, this will mean restoring your physical condition so that you are as close as possible to where you were before beginning therapy:

  • If you were using a walker but now, after a fall, require a wheelchair, let’s try to get you back to that walker.
  • If you were walking frequently, such as to and from meals or activities, but are now having trouble getting out of bed after a medical procedure, our goal is to build back your strength – not only to get you out of bed on your own again but also to return you to your old walking schedule as soon as possible!

While it takes a lot of work and the results are never guaranteed, physical therapy can achieve some very positive outcomes through perseverance and patience. It can help:

  • Reduce or eliminate discomfort from various causes, such as aging, chronic pain and soreness, and inflammation.
  • Manage other chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart and lung issues, and arthritis.
  • Prevent or minimize additional medical procedures or surgeries (in some cases, physical therapy can also improve your condition, leaving you better than where you began).
  • Improve your mental health and well-being by, for example, helping with depression and anxiety (it can even improve the quality of life in those who have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia).
  • Help create a safer environment through improving balance, mobility, and coordination.

What makes physical therapy at Waunakee Manor so special?

Unlike many other long-term care communities, our therapy team is made up entirely of in-house therapists. This means that we have a much greater ability to care for you and your loved one.

  • Access – When you need something, we are there for you. Often, long-term care communities contract therapy out to third parties. This can delay much-needed care and consideration. With our in-house therapists, we eliminate this part of the process, allowing us to be there when it is most important.
  • Communication – Our therapists talk with everyone – nurses, other therapists, family members…everyone. Working here at The Manor allows us to speak with many different people, giving us a more accurate picture of your care and how best to accommodate your changing needs. This holistic approach is something many other communities can’t offer the way we can.
  • Excellence – Our therapy team is made up of a fantastic group of professionals, some with more than 30 years of experience! Furthermore, our community members see the same people who are committed to their health and the community as a whole every day. This makes a big difference when it comes to providing each individual the proper therapy and attention they need to thrive.

How are you part of our Therapy Team?

We all work together to bring the best care to those we love, and that means you, too! You know your loved one best, and more importantly, you know yourself best. If you notice something or feel that something is off, talk with us.

Let our staff, your nurse, or someone else know. We try to be as observant as we can be, but you are the expert on those closest to you. Sometimes, the best diagnosis comes from someone who knows the person the best.

Connect with us today to learn more or share your observations and experiences. Our therapists are here for you, your loved one, and the wonderful community here at Waunakee Manor.