Recognizing National Physical Therapy Month
This October marks National Physical Therapy Month, giving us a perfect opportunity to highlight seniors’ increasing need for quality and accessible care.
Seniors rely on therapy to help them recover after a fall, to keep the mobility they need to play with their grandchildren, and to build strength to move freely about their homes and communities. Physical therapy can also help prevent injury. One recent program, for example, successfully reduced falls by 35% to 40% among seniors by focusing on improving patients’ endurance, balance, and strength.
Given the many benefits of care, it’s no wonder that seniors recognize the value of physical and occupational therapy.
A recent poll found that nine out of ten senior voters see physical and occupational therapy as essential to maintaining their quality of life, and 88% view physical therapists as valuable for reducing or eliminating pain. As our country ages, the demand for physical and occupational therapy will only continue to rise, and our seniors deserve to have reliable access to physical and occupational therapy services.
Yet, years of Medicare cuts have caused some physical and occupational therapy practices to scale back services or even close, making it difficult for patients to access the care they need. Proposed Medicare cuts for 2023 will only exacerbate this issue.
80% of the senior voters polled expressed concerns that proposed Medicare payment cuts may eliminate alternatives for treatment outside of nursing homes – and their ability to comfortably “age at home.”
Most seniors have indicated they plan to take their concerns to the polls – voting for candidates in future elections who support protecting physical and occupational therapists from Medicare cuts. Nationwide, older Americans agree that Medicare cuts are an urgent threat to their health and that legislative action must be taken to protect seniors’ access to care.
This National Physical Therapy Month, take charge to help protect seniors’ access to physical and occupational therapy: