Most experienced physical therapists will readily admit their patients don’t really want to visit with them. It’s not that they don’t like them, but rather the activities a physical therapist will push a client through can be exhausting, even enhancing pain for a short period of time.
For your elderly mother, she may be working with a physical therapist (or her doctor has recommended it) following major surgery or some major medical emergency. She’s not really inclined to consider this, even though you know it’s the best thing for her right now.
How can you convince her to follow through?
Understand the fears and concerns your mother may have. If your mother is worried about her strength, the pain that could be associated with physical therapy, and having to work out really hard, she may try to avoid this as much as possible.
Some people have a tendency to start certain activities, like physical therapy, but they don’t follow through very long. After the first or second workout, they go home completely exhausted, feeling worn out, and maybe even in some pain, so why would they want to put them through that again?
You need to keep her focused on the future.
Her doctor will have certain expectations for her recovery. If she is expected to get back to her full strength and mobility, isn’t that exciting? You need to keep her focused on that. Find out the things she still wants to do. Does she want to visit with friends? Does she want to go to the park and go for walks regularly? Is there some other hobby or activity she would like to pursue?
Will she be able to do those things if she doesn’t recover fully? In many situations the answer would be no. So, when you keep her focused on the future and help her realize this discomfort and maybe even pain is not going to be permanent, but temporary, she may be more ambitious to keep pushing through the difficult sessions of physical therapy.
Experienced physical therapists can help seniors avoid readmission.
By following doctor’s orders and working with a physical therapist, if recommended by their doctor, a senior can increase the chances of making a full recovery which will help them also avoid a potential readmission. After all, no one really wants to be readmitted to the hospital, do they?