Do most assisted living communities provide space for physical therapy?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    Assisted living residents often need help with activities of daily living, including dressing, bathing and remembering to take their medication. They don't need 24/7 medical assistance or skilled nursing care, but due to age, illness or injury, their primary care physician may recommend a program of physical therapy.

    Many assisted living communities employ licensed physical therapists, speech therapists and occupational therapist. Many communities have on-site physical therapy clinics, making it more convenient for seniors to keep their physical therapy appointments and maintain or improve their health, agility and balance.

    Sometimes, physical or occupational therapists may visit a resident's room, but an on-site physical therapy clinic can provide more of the exercise and therapy equipment residents may need. Tour the accommodations. Are they clean, well staffed, and well equipped?

    Before you choose an assisted living community, ask about the availability of on-site physical therapy, the costs involved, and if private insurance or Medicare may cover those costs. If physical therapy is prescribed as treatment after a hospital or rehab stay, for instance, it may be covered by Medicare provided the therapy is offered by a licensed therapist. The availability of on-site physical therapy may help seniors avoid moving to a nursing home.

    Of course, residents should have the choice to use their own off-site physical therapist and transportation would be provided. But on-site physical therapy is a convenient amenity that makes life in an assisted living community easier for many seniors.