- People with Disabilities
For many older adults decreased mobility, pain, and the risk of falling make daily tasks difficult or even impossible. JFCS has launched Physical Therapy and Rehab to help them remain active and independent. The new service is also available to individuals of all ages who are recuperating from an injury or surgery. Regular sessions with a licensed physical therapist take place at the client’s home or location of choice, and physical therapy is often covered by Medicare.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an injury from a fall is the leading cause of injury and death for adults over age 65. More than one third of older adults fall each year in the United States; up to 30% of those who fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries. These injuries often lead to the end of a senior’s ability to live independently, and too often lead to death.
JFCS’ Seniors At Home provides a full spectrum of expert programs to help seniors live safely and independently, including home care, dementia care, and fiduciary services. Offering physical therapy was a natural next step to serve those aging in place—especially since the service takes place in the convenience and familiarity of the senior’s own home. Currently the program is available in San Francisco, with the intention of expanding to other regions that Seniors At Home serves.
Traci Dobronravova, Director of JFCS’ Seniors At Home, says that having physical therapy in the comfort of home is key, and this program is an important addition to Seniors At Home’s commitment to a continuum of care. She says, “We can observe if there are hazards in the home that could lead to a dangerous fall or other injury, and we can see how clients move around in their personal environment.”
While physical therapy is especially important for older adults, JFCS’ new service is also available to individuals of all ages who are recuperating from an injury or surgery, or who desire the convenience and comfort of working with a physical therapist in their own homes.
Physical Well-Being Impacts Quality of Life
When Dora, 75, met Seniors At Home’s lead physical therapist, Lindsey Gendreau, she was not only physically shaky on her feet but also lived in fear of the next potential fall. Afraid to walk unaided or leave her home, Dora was becoming increasingly isolated and depressed.
Over the course of several months Dora and Lindsey worked on her strength and dynamic balance, as well as incorporating fall prevention strategies. Through regular physical therapy sessions Dora’s confidence grew, and so did her muscular strength.
Physical therapy starts with education. By understanding the postural issues, pain points, and habits that contribute to reduced mobility, older adults learn how to manage and prevent common injuries. Lindsay says, “Older adults have more control over their pain and mobility than they might realize.”
Dora is able tend to her house again, now that laundry, cooking, and cleaning are no longer such daunting tasks. But the true joy came when she had enough confidence and strength to leave her home alone again to do errands or walk around the block.
Traci says, “After a physical event like surgery or a fall many older adults adapt to their pain or injury without even realizing that they are moving differently now. With physical therapy clients can gain the strength and confidence they need in order to keep or reclaim their independence.”
JFCS’ Senior Services are partially funded by generous individuals and foundations whose support helps those who can’t afford the full cost of care.