National Physical Therapy Month Campaign Shows How PTs, PTAs Can Help AmericansOctober 5, 2015
Most Americans expect to live a long life but worry that when it comes to movement, it ain't gonna be pretty. That's the myth that APTA and its members are taking on this October through the #AgeWell campaign launched in recognition of National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM).
The campaign is built around the idea that while some effects of aging are inevitable, many symptoms and conditions commonly associated with growing older can be delayed—and in some cases prevented—and that physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) can play a vital role transforming the aging process.
Many of the tips and other information developed by APTA for the #AgeWell campaign are based on responses to a national survey that included questions on Americans' perception of the aging process and their own hopes and fears about aging. That survey found that while 68% of respondents believe they will be able to engage in "the same type" of physical activities at age 65 and older, about half expect to lose strength and flexibility with age. Similarly, while 42% hope to stay healthy as they age, fears loom large, including worries about not being able to live independently and being affected by debilitating disease and chronic conditions.
The benefits of physical therapy directly address many of these concerns, and APTA has created tools for members to spread the word about aging well. In addition, the association will launch a concurrent ad campaign in the press and on major health-related websites, including health.com, a site that receives over 1.6 million unique visits every month.
NPTM resources for PTs and PTAs include:
A National Physical Therapy Month website that helps members connect with more information, participate in social media efforts, develop their own community events to celebrate NPTM, and get the word out to local press and government through sample and template news alerts and proclamations
An infographic that recaps the results of the APTA survey
For consumers, "9 Physical Therapist Tips to Help You #AgeWell"
A MoveForwardPT.com list of "healthy tips for each decade" from 2 tips for the 20s through 6 tips for the 60s and beyond
Other resources will be rolled out during NPTM, including podcasts that take a deeper dive into healthy aging.