Among the professional staff at Paul’s Run Rehabilitation Center, empowering older adults to gain back their independence and age with dignity and grace is the most rewarding part of their profession.
For Amanda Tibbetts, who’s been working at Paul’s Run Rehab for over five years, the improvement and genuine joy she sees from patients after receiving their services motivates and inspires her on a daily basis. Providing a wide variety of rehabilitative services including physical, occupational, and speech therapy, Paul’s Run Rehab focuses on helping patients recover successfully so they can return to their everyday lives and continue their daily routines the way they always have.
When our patients come back to visit and strut down the hallways, proud of their improvement, it lights up the entire room. It’s such a wonderful feeling.–Amanda Tibbetts, staff at Paul’s Run Rehab
Recommended Stretching Exercises for Older Adults
Amanda says stretching is important at every age, especially our later years. “We have this beautiful posture when we’re young, and then over time you see our shoulders come forward and our hip flexors shorten as we sit for longer periods of time and become less active,” she says describing the problems that stretching exercises can help to solve.
As an experienced physical therapist, Amanda emphasizes the importance of safety in understanding what stretching exercises are suitable for you and your current health. “Certain people aren’t able to do certain stretches and that’s okay,” she says. Amanda suggests that older adults with limited mobility can perform safe stretching exercises when they are lying down on a bed or comfortable, flat surface.
It is advised to consult your doctor before incorporating new stretching exercises into your wellness routine. Here are some exercises older adults can do at home to help improve their posture and mobility.
Amanda says this stretch can be completely underestimated, but surprisingly beneficial for opening up your chest and improving posture and flexibility.
- Lie on a bed or comfortable, flat surface.
- Lay both arms out flat, in line with your shoulders.
- Extend your arms straight across and hold. Be careful not to lock your joints when doing any stretch.
Ankle Stretching Exercise
Ankle stretching exercises can help older adults improve their circulation and blood flow.
- Sit on a chair and extend your legs out in front of you keeping your feet on the ground.
- With your heels on the floor, point your toes upwards.
- Bend your ankles and point your toes towards you. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Next, bend your ankles to point your toes away from you.
- Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat three times.
Like these stretching exercises? Accomplish more of your fitness goals with these effective ab exercises that help strengthen your core. Read the post by clicking here!
Standing Calf Stretch
For this stretch, use a wall for added stability.
- Stand facing about one foot away from a wall.
- Place your hands against the wall for support and step one foot backwards, bending your front leg.
- Keep your back leg straight and lean into the wall to press your back heel down until it is flat on the ground.
- Hold this position and repeat on the other side.
Over-Head Arm Stretch
- Stand in front of a wall.
- Slide your arm up the wall until you feel a nice stretch in your arms and shoulders.
Amy advises all adults to make sure you practice your stretching exercises in a safe environment with no hazardous objects nearby that could cause you to trip or fall.
Staff at Paul’s Run Rehab: Helping others help themselves
Although Amanda started working with Paul’s Run Rehab in January of 2014, her passion for physical therapy extends far beyond that date. First becoming interested in rehabilitative services after her father experienced a serious head injury when she was younger, Amanda remembers numerous therapists coming in and out of her childhood home for a long period of time.
“I wanted to help them take care of my father,” she says describing her initial interest. “I guess I just caught the bug,” Amanda says referring to her passion for physical therapy and rehabilitative services.
Indeed she did. Working in the industry for 20 years now, Amanda has enjoyed taking care of patients and residents at Paul’s Run to help them regain their physical and cognitive abilities. Treating patients across a wide variety of diagnoses, whether individuals are experiencing orthopedic, neurological, or cardio-pulmonary challenges, the staff’s primary focus at Paul’s Run Rehab is to restore patients’ basic functions and give them back their independence.
Paul’s Run Rehab provides:
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
“We help restore their ability to get in and out of bed, or to walk instead of using a wheelchair, or to dress themselves on their own,” says Amanda, listing the multitude of daily tasks they help older adults regain the ability to complete on their own.
“Many of the patients we treat are completely fine cognitively, but they often get down on themselves because they’re not physically able to do the things they used to. They were perfectly independent before,” Amanda says describing the challenges she sees patients and residents face when they first start receiving services from Paul’s Run rehab.
Being able to take them from a situation where they can’t even sit at the edge of their bed and then reaching the point where they’re able to walk out of here on their own without any assistance, it’s wonderful.
Empowering Older Adults to Gain Back Their Independence
Amanda says that what she loves most about caring for patients at Paul’s Run Rehab is seeing older adults regain their strength and physical capability.
It gets to a certain point where people who have felt independent their entire life feel like they’ve lost control, and to give them back that control, to empower them to make choices for themselves rather than having someone else make those decisions for them, it’s so meaningful.