What Can Physical Therapy Do for Your Senior After Heart Surgery?
Heart surgery is one of the most invasive types of surgery your senior may have to undergo. One of the treatments that can help her to recover afterward is physical therapy services. But that might be surprising, considering how much heart surgery is likely to affect your senior. The help that physical therapists can offer to your senior after heart surgery is often referred to as cardiac rehab and here are a few of the components.
Assess and Improve Mobility and Ability to Exercise
Mobility is a huge issue after any sort of heart surgery, even for the healthiest of patients. It’s highly possible that mobility has diminished since the surgery for your senior, so the first goal of a physical therapist is to determine how she has been affected. From there, they can put together a plan to work on improving your elderly family member’s mobility.
The next goal is to usually get your senior working toward exercising, at least a little bit. Physical therapy assesses your senior’s current ability to exercise, also called exercise tolerance. The types of exercise that your senior will do will likely involve a combination of stretching exercises, strength-building exercises, and very gentle cardiovascular exercises. As her exercise tolerance improves, she may be able to continue to bump up her activity levels.
Educate about Sternal Precautions
Heart surgery often involves instructions afterward about something called sternal precautions. This is a list of instructions designed to protect the incision over your senior’s sternum and to allow her sternum itself to heal. Those precautions include instructions related to lifting restrictions and specific movements to avoid. Physical therapy helps to teach your aging family member how to move in order to follow those sternal precautions while still being more active in general.
Educate about Self-Monitoring
There’s a lot your aging family member needs to be aware of after her heart surgery. Some of this awareness comes from self-monitoring not only symptoms but also variables like heart rate and how much exertion your senior is making. Understanding how and why to monitor these different variables helps your aging family member to protect herself after heart surgery. She’s also able to practice self-monitoring with help now so that she feels more confident about it later.
Physical Therapy Providers Watch for Signs of Trouble
Physical therapists understand the challenges your senior faces after heart surgery. This puts them in the unique position of being able to help your elderly family member to recover and also to watch for signs that her recovery may not be going as well as you would hope. Paying attention to these signs early on can help your aging family member to avoid serious health ramifications as she continues to heal.
With the right help from physical therapy specialists, your elderly family member can heal fairly quickly from heart surgery. The key is for her to follow her doctor’s instructions and to listen to her body. Physical therapists can help her to remember how to do all of those things as she’s recovering.
If you or a family member need to hire Physical Therapy Services in Tamarac FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. We provide service in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Margate, Pompano Beach, and Tamarac.
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