The Physical Therapist will work with residents to improve safety and independence in performing functional activities such as ambulation, transfers, and bed mobility. Treatments that may address these activities include range of motion exercises, stretching exercises, strengthening exercises (with emphasis on the lower extemities), balance activities, bed mobility, transfer training, and gait training.
If pain is a factor in reduced functional level, the therapist may also utilize modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and hot/cold therapy to help reduce pain and hasten progress. Active patient and family participation is critical in order to achieve the long-term goal of a safe return home. Emphasis is therefore placed on patient/family education on safety awareness, home exercise programs, goals, and maximizing patient independence.
During the rehabilitation stay, it is planned that the patient will gradually achieve independence. The physical therapist will also work closely with the patient and other disciplinary team members to assess the need for special equipment to maximize independence, make home health referrals, suggest home adaptations to assist in a smooth transition to the home environment.