Becoming a geriatric physical therapist is a way to truly help our aging population.
There are a variety of concerns that confront the aging body. Arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, broken bones and joint replacements, and incontinence are all real problems in elderly life. If you are interested in the elderly, or simply promoting general health among your fellow human beings, consider geriatric physical therapist opportunities. Perhaps you are interested in your own aging process. Geriatric physical therapist training will help you to better understand the process.
What is Geriatric Physical Therapy?
Geriatric physical therapists work to relieve pain and suffering, restore movement, and generally increase fitness among the elderly. Because the needs and subsequent symptoms of our bodies change as we age, there are different methods in the examination, evaluation, and treatment among the elderly.
As life expectancy grows and the baby boomer generation moves into retirement, there is a greater need for massage therapy among the elderly. The American Massage Therapy Association recorded 21 percent of those over the age of 55 had a massage within the last year. Compared with 13 percent two years prior, you can see the large growth experienced in this profession.
Geriatric Physical Therapy Possibilities
Geriatric physical therapy is a very specialized form of physical therapy. Certifications are available online, but these are usually aimed at current physical therapists, or those with physical therapy training. If you want geriatric physical therapy certification, consider studying general physical therapy as a preliminary goal. Physical therapy training is available across the country, but due to the necessity of hands-on experience, is usually confined to an actual classroom.
Geriatric physical therapy schools usually follow a set of guidelines set up by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, or AGHH. If you choose to pursue geriatric physical therapy training, research the school beforehand to be sure it offers geriatric physical therapy courses.