Ask The Expert: Interview with Livingstone Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can help seniors retain their independence, whether managing a long-term illness or just wanting to improve their general health and mobility.
As people age, they tend to lose flexibility, strength, and often their balance, so maintaining the desired level of fitness becomes increasingly challenging. This is when a physical therapist is beneficial to your health. They are highly trained healthcare professionals, with expertise in movement and exercise.
Join us this month as we ask an expert: Robie Livingstone, owner of Livingstone Physical Therapy and a licensed physical therapist in a one-on-one discussion about her journey as a physical therapist and how physical therapy is essential to our community.
LifeWorx: How did you begin your journey as a physical therapist at Livingstone Physical Therapy?
Robie: After working in various settings over thirty years I got to the point in my career where I wanted to give my clients more of my time and the best quality care I could offer, so I started my own studio with home care services.
LifeWorx: Describe what’s your day-to-day like
Robie: I love to start my days working with my clients whether it be at my studio here in Westport or at their homes. Working with people gives me a wonderful feeling of satisfaction and seeing each client progress makes my day.
LifeWorx: What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
Robie: The core of what I do is teaching clients about their bodies. When that knowledge empowers them, it leads to a life with more movement and ease. That is something they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. I love when I can see that I have made a difference. I’m always grateful that I get to be a physical therapist.
LifeWorx: How can physical therapy help seniors improve their quality of life?
Robie: I’ve found that most older adults need to work on their balance so that’s a focus of my care. Being unsteady can lead to a decrease in physical activities and that is a bad cycle to be in. It’s hard to work on your balance without having someone showing you how to challenge yourself safely, so that’s one of the most important things I do as a physical therapist. Balance can be improved at any stage of life. It takes practice and encouragement and it’s worth it!
Sometimes the smallest modification (grab bars, bed risers, assistive devices or physical strategies) can make an enormous difference for people who are homebound. It’s very gratifying to make a suggestion that helps ease the life of a client as well as ease the mind of a caring family member.
LifeWorx: What advice do you have for families or caregivers who are caring for an aging loved one?
Robie: There is a fine line between respecting an aging loved one’s autonomy and encouraging them to make the most of their physical abilities so they can enjoy life with less pain and more confidence.
Working with a physical therapist is the best gift you can give a homebound loved one. It is like working with a very focused, knowledgeable and compassionate personal trainer at the most important stage of life.
Stay tuned for our article next month as part of our Ask The Expert series.
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