My mother lived with breast, bone and lung cancer for seven (7) years. She was a huge supporter of my business and completely understood the benefits of leg strength; however, when she started struggling to stand up from chairs and with walking, I realized it was better for someone other than a family member to be the caregiver. My mother politely told to mind my own business so I did what I thought was best. I sent one of my physical therapists (Vicki) out to talk with my mother. My mother immediately called to tell me “Vicki is so smart and kind”. She was so excited to hear that she could get stronger and went on to explain TO ME that the benefits of increasing her leg strength meant she would struggle less.
Three weeks into exercise
My mother was already standing up easier and walking was less stressful. Even more importantly, she was “feeling better” and engaging in her daily life activities more. I received another phone call stating that I should have made her exercise sooner with Vicki! All I can say is “UGH”! Holding the title of Physical Therapist commands a certain amount of respect. We are trusted to be the experts in exercise and to support our clients and families. Our job is to challenge our clients but simultaneously keep them safe and motivated. My job is to help people move three (3) levels above what they do with others so day to day life is easier.
“How do you do that?”
Over the years when completing evaluations, I have helped clients stand and walk for the first time in (sometimes many) years. The family often says in disbelief “How did you do that? I have tried for two years to help her walk”. Getting a person to listen or respond to opinions about needed exercise or ability, is for the most part, difficult in for family members. This is normal! An outside person with physical therapist credentials, adds a certain respect that is needed. We all have rolls to play and exercise is more readily accepted by a physical therapist than a family member or care giver.