Workouts put seniors on road to health and recovery

For The Mirror

Residents of Village Green Retirement Community in Federal Way don’t have to leave the campus for treatment of mobility problems such as arthritis, back pain, osteoperosis or other physical disorders. They take the elevator to a clinic for a rehabilitation program under the direction of physical therapist Jim Fuller.

Rehabilitation and exercise can not only improve your health, but it can save your life, according to Fuller.

The clinic at Village Green is equipped especially for seniors, with Fuller and other therapists providing one-on-one care.

Most of the treatment involves musuloskeletal dysfunction, pain, post-operative conditioning and other age-related issues. The treatments are also available for non-Village Green residents in their homes. More information is available at 838-3700 or (253) 589-0611.

A key element in treatment is exercise to reduce muscle weakness and increase endurance. Residents work out on treadmills, parallel bars, exercise bikes, steppers, rowers, strength training machines, weightlifting and other specialized equipment.

One resident recently experienced a recovery of her left arm which hadn’t been functioning until specific rehabilitation and exercise to address her problem, Fuller said.

Each exercise program is individually designed for each resident to meet specific needs.

Fuller, who has 22 years of experience in physical therapy, said a well-designed exercise program can help strengthen heart and lungs, slow muscle loss, help burn fat faster, improve balance and strength, lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease, lessen arthritis pain and improve sleep. Even people in their 80s and 90s who have lost muscle strength can regain strength and function through exercise.

Rehabilitation can also help reduce depression and anxiety and build and maintain healthy bones, Fuller said.

A major goal is to progress from wheelchairs to walkers to canes so that impaired residents can walk without assistance, according to Fuller.

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