Health care providers are starting to see an increase in people, specifically those in the baby boomer population, experiencing movement issues related to aging.
To determine whether a person is aging on track, providers generally start with an investigation of these five factors:
These factors encompass some of the greatest challenges patients face as they age, such as falls, walking for long distances, or performing daily activities like cleaning or driving.
Typically, a physical therapy evaluation is ordered because a patient has a specific injury or fall. Now, Frazier Rehab Institute is offering a new type of evaluation, the Moving Target Assessment, which assesses all of the key body systems that contribute to healthy aging and determines what systems are and are not functioning well.
“Primary care providers often recommend patients begin an exercise program to help with balance, difficulty walking, joint pain, or just general poor health,” said Drew Sendelbach, DPT, board certified specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy at Frazier Rehab Institute. “Patients leave the office not knowing how to start. The Moving Target Assessment now offers a great solution for both patients and their providers to address issues of aging and movement, and to prevent further debilitation and falls.”
For example, a patient who is falling or tripping more often at home may assume that his legs are just weak and that he needs to do some strengthening. But a physical therapist could perform the Moving Target Assessment and find that actually, his strength is good, but his ankles stiffness and his posture are the problems affecting his balance.
According to Sendlebach, “The Moving Target Assessment is a proactive program that uses standardized tests to look at the body and how it moves completely as one whole unit to pinpoint specific areas of weakness in patients. The assessment is a great tool for people who know something isn’t quite right but can’t articulate the problem to their provider.”
The Moving Target Assessment is also a great solution for providers who can’t find a problem in a patient’s lab work and have exhausted medical solutions for a geriatric patient, but they can see that their patient is continuing to decline.
Identifying the underlying reasons for problems related to aging can lead to better treatment plans and a greater chance of achieving maximum levels of function. Patients who feel they may benefit from a Moving Target Assessment should talk with their primary care provider, or can call one of Frazier Rehab Institute’s outpatient locations for more information at 502-582-7406. Patients can also visit Frazier Rehab Institute’s website at https://www.uoflhealthnetwork.org/frazier-rehab-institute for more information.