Getting Older Does not Have to Slow Down You Down

April 03, 2014

Some changes are an inevitable part of aging, but that doesn’t mean they have to slow you down. Regular exercise, including physical therapy, can help keep seniors active.

According to Alyse Plotkin, a physical therapist at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, aging contributes to the loss of bone density and muscle strength. It also can increase the risk of falling.

Statistics show, however, that exercise does make a difference. “Walking speed and lower extremity strength is a strong predictor for nursing home admission. Gait speed is considered the new vital sign,” Plotkin says. “The aging population needs to know that if they notice a physical decline, they can request a prescription for physical therapy from their physician.”

At Providence Tarzana Outpatient Therapy Center, trained physical therapists address patients’ specific needs and provide exercises they can do at home. “The earlier we can start seeing people,” Plotkin says, “the better chance they have of aging gracefully.”