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Training Program Lowers Mortality, Increases Independence in Elderly


A recent study has shown that seniors who met with occupational and physical therapists in a structured program were able to stay independent longer. They lived longer as well.

In the study, 319 men and women 70 and older had four 90-minute visits and one telephone interview with and occupational therapist and a 90-minute visit with a physical therapist. The therapists would work with the seniors to identify and solve problems for the concerns they had about their daily routines. Seniors learned strategies for energy conservation and modifications to make their homes safer.

At the end of the study and at follow up, study participants had an easier time with activities of daily living, such as dressing and going to the bathroom, and they were less afraid of falling. At follow-up, one percent of the people in the study group died, while 10 percent who received no treatment died.

If you've been having a little trouble lately getting through the day, be sure to seek out the help of a professional. These trained individuals can see things about your situation that you are not able to see, and they have a unique perspective about solutions that can make your day-to-day life easier.

The New England Journal of Medicine, 2 June 2005
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