By Janis Kemper, Physical Therapist and Co-Owner of NPT
It’s not easy to see your parents get older. We want nothing more than for them to remain independent, feel great, and enjoy life to the fullest. If your parents are anything like mine, they don’t want to “bother” you with their aches and physical limitations. Even though we all know, it’s no bother at all – my sister, 2 brothers, and I would drop everything to help them in a second. They’ve always been there for us and we’ll gladly do the same for them. Finding them the best care possible is always our top priority.
This post might seem a little bias, as it’s focused around my mom and dad, Glenn and Marilyn Smith, but the message is bigger. Many of my friends are going through the same thing that my siblings and I are – we want our parents to be active, healthy, and living a full life for decades to come. Because of my profession, I know there are opportunities out there to meet these needs, but not everyone knows where to turn. Physical therapy, senior based fitness classes, and programs like Silver&Fit are great options for older adults.
My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders. They understand the ways that physical therapy can help them feel better, but it’s not because I’ve told them this, it’s because they’ve experienced it first hand.
Marilyn and Glenn were the very first clients at our Lowell clinic
My mom had back surgery in 2011 as a result of pain that was radiating from her hip to her groin, and down her leg to her ankle. Right around that time my dad had a few close calls with some balance issues. They both turned to physical therapy; mom after her surgery, and dad for balance therapy. The treatments had a positive impact on both of them because not only were they no longer living in pain or in fear of falling, but they could live more independently and participate in more family activities. You might say they gained a little of their youth back.
Marilyn and Glenn enjoy spending time with their family, including grandson Jack
Since the initial treatments, my parents have become frequent users of physical therapy. They’ve become welcome visitors at three of our locations and while the coffee and good company help, there’s more that keeps them coming back. Mom says she feels better and more relaxed after getting treated. Over time she’s learned how to make changes to the way she moves which have improved her posture, made her back stronger, helped with basic motions like bending over, and has made doing chores around the house easier because there aren’t so many aches associated with them. Dad has a better attitude about health in general because he feels so much better.
“I didn’t realize how all these exercises and movement changes could make such a difference. I tell people to consider physical therapy because you never know how great the results can be until you give it a try.” Marilyn Smith
Upon the advice of their PT, my parents participated in a few of our fitness classes. They understand the importance of staying active on a regular basis, and they’ve noticed the change this has made to their overall well being. They like our SeniorFit class, which offers a low impact workout to improve upon cardio, strength, and balance.
While seeing our parents age is never easy, I feel better knowing that they’re in good hands and that their best interests are always a top priority. But my team members don’t just treat them this way because they’re my parents – they treat them this way because they care about each and every client that walks through the door and that gives me great peace of mind.
If you or your loved ones are living with pain, consider physical therapy. It’s a non-invasive treatment that can make a world of difference in the way we move, feel, and live. Ready to get started?