steviegirl Asked January 2012

Do physical therapists always make the right decisions?

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My mother who has PD is trying yet another new round of physical therapy done in the home. She has done this before only to stop because it is too rigorous and exhausting for her. Don't get me wrong. I love the phys therapists' dedication and their 'can do' spirits but sometimes I wonder if it's me or them not living in reality. My mom can only walk with a walker and me holding her by her gait belt and for just a short time. She cannot get up to go to the bathroom or get up off her chair w/o asst. She needs to be transferred to a wheelchair and whisked to the bathroom. It has become harder for me to transfer her from her liftchair and bed to her wheelchair. I feel that she needs more skilled care than myself and that will only become more apparant in the very near future. Anway, the phys therapists set these big goals for mom and tell her that they're going to try and get her to be able to get up on her own and walk to the bathroom with the walker. As her caregiver who has only seen mom's abilities diminish esp. since she broke her hip over a year ago I wonder how real that goal is. Mom was able to get up and use the walker BEFORE the hip surgery but not now and her PD is progressing. Mom's so excited thinking that phys therapy is going to make her better. Do phys therapists set the bar higher than they know they can reach hoping they obtain maybe half of them? Has anyone had my feelings on the topic? Just thought I'd share. Thanks.

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amitebird Jan 2012
My mother, too, developed hip problems while my father was dying in the hospital. She uses a walker, but keeps trying to go without it, sometimes I think endangering herself (possibility of falling). She has had several bouts of physical therapy, but the first one after about a month, pulled on her leg really hard and she has been in pain since. She then found another pt, who is much better, but at first had her doing waaay too much. I told her to tell them it felt like too much and put her foot down when they are pushing her. She did this, and they adjusted her workout. My feeling is physical therapists, although well-intentioned, are sometimes immune to the delicacy of an 85 year old. I personally have been to physical therapists who had no interest in my well-being at all, watching sports on TV while supposedly treating me. Go with your mom if you have to to talk to them if she cannot, and tell them what you think. If they have a bad attitude, take her to someone else. They are not gods.
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