How Different Types of Therapies Can Help The Children & Elderly

November 5, 2018

Therapies can provide great benefits for people of all ages, especially children and the elderly.  As our bodies form and grow as children, our goal is to develop into active and healthy young adults while the elderly focus on maintaining muscle strength and mobility to live a fulfilling and long life. 


Although there are many therapies that can be utilized by children and the elderly, some of the main therapies are physical, occupational, and speech. From development, injury, illness, mobility, and motor skills, these therapies offer support in creating and maintaining a better way of life from the very beginning.


Below are ways that these three therapies benefit both children and the elderly.


As children grow, we expect that they develop as they should, but that is not always the case. Many children suffer from developmental delays in their motor, mobility, and speech skills. Physical therapy uses methods such as teaching/practice of functional development, motor, and mobility skills and therapeutic exercise to strengthen muscles, increase endurance, and improve joint mobility.  Physical therapy can aid in anything from crawling and walking to adaptive play and balance coordination activities.  Occupational therapy can aid children in the development of fine motor skills, visual-perceptual skills, cognitive skills, and sensory-processing deficits.



The elderly also benefit from physical and occupational therapy as they strive to maintain healthy, active, and independent lifestyles.  Physical therapy addresses functional mobility in the elderly while occupational therapy tackles the tasks we use mobility for.


You could say that physical and occupational therapy go hand-in-hand when it comes to geriatric care. Physical therapy might work on strengthening hip and leg muscles after a hip replacement while occupational therapy might help the patient learn how to sit and transfer after their surgery. 


Occupational therapy also contributes to daily living activities such as dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming, walking, and transferring to maintain independence in the patient.



Physical and occupational therapies can improve the following illnesses/injuries in children and the elderly:

  • Developmental delays

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Genetic disorders

  • Orthopedic disabilities

  • Heart and lung conditions

  • Birth defects

  • Limb deficiencies

  • Muscle diseases

  • Muscle coordination concerns

Both physical and occupational therapies offer the following benefits:

  • Increase and maintain muscle strength and endurance

  • Restore and increase joint range of motion