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    Be a Part of APTA's 'Fit After 50' Initiative

    Are you helping patients who are aged 50 or older to maintain their fitness and mobility? Are you a PT or PTA aged 50+ who is "walking the walk" by staying active and mobile as you age? If the answer is "yes" to either of these questions, APTA wants to hear from you. E-mail public-relations@apta.org with a brief description, and we’ll arrange a brief video recording of you while you are at the Combined Sections Meeting to post on www.apta.org/FitAfter50.


    Comments

    I'm 55 and a former high school and college athlete trying to walk the talk. I'm also a GCS working in Home Health so I see the consequences firsthand! Hope I can help with the initiative.
    Posted by Judy Thackaberry on 12/26/2012 7:05 PM
    I may not be 50 yet but I'm getting close...I'm orthopedic pt practicing for about 10 years and I'm 40...I see first hand the effects of aging and how to prevent further complications as we all get older...I'm a strength and fitness enthusiast....I would love to help in anyway I can to promote your fit after 50 campaign...
    Posted by Isaac Maldonado -> ?OV\DH on 12/27/2012 8:16 AM
    I am 55 years old. A practicing physical therapist for 33 years. Private Practice owner who works with many clients on fitness after 50 assisting them to achieve their wellness goals.
    Posted by Thomas Cooney DPT on 12/28/2012 2:17 PM
    I am 61 and a pediatric PT - now teaching in a PTA program because of my osteoartritic knees. I found that I gained 10 lbs. in the last 18 mos and could hardly walk up/down stairs and my tennis was getting worse. As of 12/26, cortisone in my left knee is making it pain free, now able to restart ex program, now on swimming 4-5 days a week program, and will continue a PTA Club Clinic for Faculty and Staff in the PTA Movement Lab 2 days a week to promote "Fit after 50". Happy New Year!
    Posted by Bunny May on 12/28/2012 2:20 PM
    I am 52 years old. I have been a Physical Therapist who, for 30 + years professionally and 13 years scholastically, has walked the walk. I am recently diagnosed with; Gr 1 L5-S1 retro spondylothesis, as well as, herniated discs mild L4-L5, moderate L5-S1, This requiring, so far, 1 course of oral Prednisone taper, 1 spinal injection and 2nd pending. I am hopeful to avoid surgery, but symptoms have not resolved as yet.These symptoms include severe radicular pain 10/10, as well as early sensory and motor involvement. I am unable to walk let alone work due to severity of symptoms. I have been active all my life running/jogging, conditioning, skiing, skating and the like. I am having extreme difficulty with the changes that have occurred over the past 2 months, yet, I remain hopeful. I will continue to walk the walk. It will take a considerable time to improve. I need to change my perspective and accept that I have now become a patient (not the first time with history of: Cervical C6-7 DJD, Fx Lt Radius requiring ORIF, and torn Rt UCL). These events occurring or worsening over the course of the past 2 years. To say the least entering the 50's has been a tough experience. I will keep you posted as to my progress over the next few months. The downside of this experience being all the physical involvement, pain and limitation, the upside is a vastly improved perspective as to how the many patients I have treated, over a 30+ year history as a PT, have felt and suffered.
    Posted by Kaethe A Flynn on 12/28/2012 7:14 PM
    I'm practicing at 62years old in a community hospital outpatient setting. I completed my CEEAA as I have mainly a geriatric population. I run 3x a week, swim 2 x a week and do yoga class 2x a week. I tell my patients I will not ask them to do anything I don't or can't do!
    Posted by Jinx O'Loughlin on 12/28/2012 8:56 PM
    I have been practicing physical therapy for 50 yrs and continue to work part-time in semi-retirement, specializing in orthopedic and geriatric therapy. At 73, I certainly qualify as a senior and have been a devoted gym rat for 55 yrs. Always combining fitness with physical therapy practice, I try to encourage and direct patients toward continuing a physically active lifestyle. I am particularly proud to exercise along side of patients 70 and over who joined the fitness centers where I work out regularly. I have always utilized different activities in my training as the emphasis upon cross training became popular. Playing racquetball for 40 yrs, as well as mixing in biking, weight-training, hiking, and yoga - the principle of cross training has worked well for me. Over the years of my exercise mania, if one activity became uncomfortable due to injury or over-use, there was another I could continue without aggravation of the injury etc. As many PTs do, I use the "mix and match" movement/exercise principle in designing in-clinic and home programs for patients. Scientific and research-proven exercise data has been the constant in my practice.
    Posted by Herschel Budlow P.T. on 12/28/2012 11:04 PM
    Staying fit is important and possible at any age, it just gets a little harder as we get older. I have had a busy private practice for approx. 25 years, treating and assisting all ages and fitness levels. I am 50 and continue to participate in multiple running races of various distances including ultraendurance races of 100 miles. I certainly support this initiative.
    Posted by Scott Winkler PT,DPT on 12/29/2012 12:28 AM
    Acute Care beats up your body through repetitive lifting and moving. Every day I train my body for the physical requirements of this job. I'm 65 and work/compete along side PT's more than half my age and CI DPT students annually. I lead by example, experience and a commitment to learning and evidence. Working with the next generation keeps my mind invigorated. When I walk in the patient's room for the first time they look at me and frequently say: "You must be the PT".
    Posted by Guy Rudawski, PT on 12/29/2012 8:38 AM
    To all of the patients and clients whose lives I have been able to bless. May you continue to stay active, healthy, and enjoy your exercise and the company of a physical therapist.
    Posted by Heidi Harris on 12/29/2012 1:21 PM
    I am a PTA student nearing the end of my program, at 46. I am encouraged and energized by these comments. I just finished a clinical at a SNF which galvanized my commitment to preventive medicine, my personal fitness and pt education.
    Posted by Molly Keogh, SPTA on 12/30/2012 10:49 AM
    When I receive the DPT degree in August, 2013, I will be 55 years old and I will be just beginning my career in physical therapy. I know that staying fit is not only necessary in order to be able to practice for many years to come, but is also important as I seek to treat and motivate others. I have maintained an active lifestyle since high school and my fitness regimine includes running, yoga, and strength training. I have never had a problem keeping up with classmates half my age and like to think I am a good role model, demonstrating the value of maintaining a focus on fitness throughout your life. I look forward to applying my philosophy and skills to helping older patients maintain their mobility and independence.
    Posted by Debra Frisch, SPT on 1/2/2013 7:05 AM
    I am 59 and still going strong. I have always felt that I must stay in good shape to be an example to my patients. I exercise regularly and work with the pediatric population in a school system, which keeps me active. I do find that there are certain things I can no longer do, like heavy lifts, but I modify and ask for help when needed. Some things just can't be avoided as we age, but we can age gracefully with a positive attitude.
    Posted by Karen Zylstra on 1/4/2013 5:33 PM
    Well I am now 55 years old and have worked as a therapist for over 30 years. Presently I work in an outpatient orthopedic clinic and continuely see the benefits of educating people over 50 to become and stay active. Alot of the patients I see have undergone either hip or knee arthroplasties and now need to understand how to return to a more normal activity level. We also have a medical fitness center that is a fantastic way to encourage people on their way back to a active lifestyle I hope I believe I am a good role model for them since I do workout at least 5 days per work to stay physcially fit. This initiative is a great one and one I would very much support!
    Posted by Scott Foster, DPT, OCS on 1/4/2013 5:52 PM
    I have been a PT since 1974, a breast cancer survivor since 1995 and 2012. At 72, I am working 15+ hours/wk w/ lymphedema patients only, in a wound clinic. My co-workers see the wound patients, the ones who have been coming for years due to decreased healing. We encourage all of our patients to be more functional and active by example and w/ instructions. As difficult as it is for me to exercise after a day of work, my husband and I do indeed attempt to walk our neighborhood and/or work out in our little local gym.
    Posted by Susan Allen PT on 1/4/2013 6:29 PM
    At 59, I still feel great. My entire career has been in pediatrics for 30+ years. I maintain a healthy weight, eat right and have fun exercising. Boot camp at a fellow PT practice keeps me challenged so I enjoy cross country skiing, downhill skiing, hiking, stand up paddle boarding - anything outdoors! What a great initiative!
    Posted by Lori Woodruff on 1/11/2013 8:08 PM
    I have been a PT since 1975. I completed my Master's in 1983. Along with working full-time and trying to complete my Master's thesis I discovered running. If I found time to run, I had more energy in the evening to complete my projects. Fast Forward to my 50th birthday. I ran a 50 mile race a week later. I still run and cycle and do yoga (something every day). I am planning a metric century bike ride (62 miles) for my 60th birthday near the end of this year.I do want to comment on the abuse our bodies take as a PT...nowhere in the healthcare system is this reality acknowledged. If you have applied for a new position in the last few years, you may have encountered a document that is presented as a "job description" for PT's. It completely underestimates the physical toll on a PT. If I remember correctly, it says something along the lines of" "lifts 25# on a regular basis and 50# occasionally" Now, if you work in acute care, rehab or SNF, what part of the deadweight patient you are expected to get walking is only 50#? I discovered the repetitive nature of our tasks when I had an acute bilateral extensor tendonitis episode. Do you realize how often we pinch, grip or hold (think ultrasound head) during the course of our workday? Since no one else will acknowledge this, I am here to provide a wake-up call to younger therapists: apply the advice you give to your patients to yourself. If it is unsafe to lift a patient DON'T. Your employer (and the patient) will not be there in your later years when you have chronic issues.With reduced reimbursements the pressure is on to do more with less support. This is the wrong direction, and I strongly recommend we draw a line in the sand. If we just go along, the limits will continue to be pushed. YOU ARE WORTH IT! Advocate for yourself as strongly as we all do for our patients!
    Posted by Joyce Adams, MSPT on 1/25/2013 2:39 PM
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