Fall Prevention: How Physical Therapy Can Lower Your Risk of Falling

Does your body feel the same today as it did 5 years ago? 10 years ago? 15 years ago?

Of course not! As we age, our bodies change. Our muscles get weaker, our bones lose mass, and balancing becomes harder.

All of these issues increase the risk of falling and injuring yourself. That’s where physical therapy can help. 

In this article, we’ll give you important information on how physical therapy can help with fall prevention. Keep reading to learn more!

Why is Falling so Dangerous?

About three million Americans end up in the emergency room every year because of fall-related injuries. Many times, these injuries require hospital stays and extensive physical therapy.

When an older person falls, the greatest risk is harm to the body. This includes fractured or broken bones. It also means damage to soft tissue causing extensive bruising. And it may even cause joint issues like torn cartilage and ligaments.

Not only is falling physically painful, but it takes an emotional toll too. People who suffer falls lose some of their mobility. This can affect everything from walking to using the restroom.

This loss of mobility leads to a higher risk of depression and other mental health issues. And when you’re restricted to bed, you’re also at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes.

To sum it up, falling is bad news! Fortunately, there are ways to prevent falling.

How PT Helps with Fall Prevention

Physical therapy is a great fall prevention measure because it keeps your body active and strong. A PT program will give you consistent strength training using different tools like weights, stretch bands, and resistance machines.

This type of exercise makes your bones stronger, which can lessen the damage done if you do happen to fall. And it strengthens your muscles too. Your quadriceps, the large muscles on the front of your thighs, carry most of your weight when you walk.

Strengthening this muscle group, in particular, can help you distribute your weight better on your feet. And it can give you more strength to catch yourself when you trip, rather than falling all the way to the floor.

PT is also a great place to work on improving your balance since losing balance is a common cause of many falls. Your therapist can give you a balance assessment to see how well you currently balance. Then they’ll assign exercises targeted specifically at improving balance. These exercises often include strengthening the ankles, knees, and hips.

Lower Your Risk of Falling at Home Too

Regular fall prevention exercises with a physical therapist are essential to keep you upright as you age. Your therapist will also give you exercises to do at home. But there are other things you can do to reduce your risk of falling at home.

Make sure you have good, supportive shoes that fit correctly and don’t slip. Also, make your home a safer place to walk by picking up slippery rugs and removing exposed electrical cords. Declutter the main walking areas so there’s nothing poking out to trip you.

Use bright lighting around your home to make sure you can see where you’re going. And install grab bars near steps and in your bathroom.

With these tips and a great physical therapist, you’re sure to prevent falls in your future. Visit our Outpatient Therapy page to check out our brand new, state-of-the-art physical therapy room!

Physical Therapy Facts: Debunking the Top 3 Myths About Physical Therapy

Our bodies are miraculous machines. They are made to move in all sorts of different ways to keep us alive and active, both mentally and physically.

So when pain crops up anywhere in your body, it’s important to take notice. Because pain isn’t normal.

Did you know that physical therapy (PT) is an option for anyone in pain? It can relieve pain without strong medication or invasive surgery. And it can help improve your range of motion, functional mobility, and flexibility too.

In this article, we’ll debunk the top 4 PT myths and replace them with the physical therapy facts you need to know.

Myth: It Hurts

Is your pain tolerance is about as high as a postage stamp? Many people believe that the pain they’ll feel from the treatment will be worse than the pain of the injury.

Rest assured that your therapist has years of schooling and experience under their belt. They know how to treat physical ailments in a way that’s sensitive to your pain threshold. You’ll receive a personalized therapy plan that treats your issue at your pace so there’s no need to worry.

And when you’ve completed your treatment sessions, your therapist will educate you on how to avoid injury at home. This saves you much more pain in the long run.

Myth: I Can Do My Own PT

We’re lucky because we have access to more medical information than any generation before us. We have YouTube and WebMD right at our fingertips. And many people believe that they can treat their own injuries and illnesses by simply Googling around.

When it comes to pain though, it’s always best to see a professional. Your therapist knows how far your joints and muscles can safely move. They’ll supervise your movements so that you don’t hurt yourself worse.

Myth: PT Won’t Treat That

There’s a common misconception that PT is strictly for people who have been injured. But really, PT can be a useful tool to aid in healing many of physical ailments.

In some cases, physical therapy is a good option to avoid painful surgery. Discuss this option with your doctor if you believe you might be a good candidate.

Many neurological issues can be treated using physical therapy, including stroke, head trauma, or Parkinson’s Disease. It can also help with things like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. And it’s known to help with back pain, text neck, and even headaches.

Ditch the Myths: Get the Physical Therapy Facts

These are just a few of the myths that float around about PT. And hopefully, we’ve shown you that these myths are bogus.

But if you want to learn more about PT, get the physical therapy facts by checking out our outpatient therapy website. You can see all the amazing therapy services we offer at St. Williams Living Center.

Don’t live in pain any longer! Check out our website today.

We’ve Remodeled! Join Us for a Grand Opening Event

We’ve Remodeled! Join Us for a Grand Opening Event

On May 20th, something very exciting happened at St. William’s Living Center. Our new addition was completed and residents officially moved in! 

This new addition has been in the works for several years now. And we couldn’t be more excited to give our residents a beautiful new facility to enjoy. And now we want to share it with you!

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about our upcoming grand opening event.

About the New Addition

The new addition to St. William’s started with a groundbreaking ceremony on April 27, 2018. Since then, we’ve been working hard to complete this new beautiful new space. 

The project included the construction of 14 private resident rooms, each with its own private bathroom and shower. Before the renovation began, there were 16 shared rooms at St. William’s. Now that the new addition is complete, there are only three shared rooms at our facility. 

This change has also increased the number of private bathrooms from nine before the renovation to 29 after. These new rooms and spacious bathrooms offer our residents a more modern feel with a greater sense of privacy. 

Not only do residents get to enjoy more private space, but they get additional common areas as well. There is a large new kitchen, a beautiful new lobby, and a spa room too. Plus, residents have access to a brand new handicap-accessible courtyard. The outdoor area offers a safe and peaceful environment for residents to enjoy our beautiful Minnesota summers.

Renovation Update

But it’s not only the new addition that we’re excited about! We’ve been working on renovations to our existing skilled nursing facility too. 

We’ve replaced our roof and added state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems. These changes will make our residents more comfortable by adding efficiency and humidity controls. There were also new electrical receptacles added in every existing room. 

We upgraded our security camera system to provide a safer environment for residents and staff. The fire alarm system got an update as well. And we renovated our tub room and spa. 

Our entrances are improved now too, with handicap accessibility on Jackson St, Soo St, and McCornell Ave. New sidewalks surround the entire facility. Plus, there was an additional parking lot added near the Jackson St entrance to accommodate outpatient therapy, residents, and their visitors. 

More Room and Expanded Services

All of this extra room means we can offer more services to our residents and to the community. The new addition features an outpatient therapy clinic that provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy. 

Therapy is so important in helping those recuperating from illness or injury to get back on their feet. The new addition houses a large gym with two private treatment rooms. It also includes an occupational therapy kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. 

And our therapy services aren’t only for residents. With this new facility, we can treat people of all ages in the surrounding communities. This includes physical therapy for student-athletes. 

We’ll See You at Our Grand Opening Event!

We are so excited to show you all these wonderful changes! Join us on Tuesday, August 20th from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. When you visit, you’ll receive a map showing you around our new facility. There will be tours of all the new areas, including our exercise gym and therapy rooms, our new mental health office, and the new resident rooms. 

Therapy Gym

There will be finger foods and appetizers available throughout the building. And we’ll have live music in the south dining room from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Stop by our grand opening event for a great time!


St. William’s Living Center consistently receives 5-star ratings in the Medicare Nursing Home Compare program. Which means we are well above average among other nursing homes in the country. We’re proud to serve our residents and the Parkers Prairie community!

Chronic Pain

How To Seek Treatment

Although there are lots of children, adolescents and adults who experience some type of mental health problem in their lives, they can oftentimes work through it with time and good support from others. However, if the symptoms linger and don’t improve or become more severe and it is impacting their ability to get through the day, getting professional help may be the next best course of action.

Warning signs for children and adolescents include slipping grades, difficulty getting along with other students or friends, getting into fights, having difficulty with authority figures, school absences, difficulty concentrating, isolating, fighting with family, difficulty controlling mood swings, thoughts of running away or wanting to die, substance abuse and much more. Children are more apt to show that they are struggling by acting out as they don’t necessarily have the ability to communicate what is wrong.

For adults, symptoms are similar but cater to those in the adult world. They can show their struggles through poor work performance, irregular attendance, problems with the boss, a bad attitude, moodiness or are easily offended on the job. Then there are those who have difficulty with increased/decreased sleeping and eating, racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating, motivational problems with uncompleted household tasks, increased relationship problems with family or friends, inability to leave the house or suffer with panic attacks, come up with blanks on positive thinking, feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless, getting in trouble with authorities or having anger problems, struggle with nightmares or flashbacks from previous trauma, and/or are abusing alcohol or other substances by trying to escape from emotional pain. There is a whole host of mental health issues that are not listed here but cause significant difficulty and impact the ability to function in our day-to-day routines. When there are problems getting through the day or a large part of our world is falling apart, it may be time to ask for professional help.

Oftentimes, those suffering from mental health problems visit their physician and discuss their concerns. Psychotropic medications may be considered if it appears that the patient would benefit from such. Oftentimes, physicians also refer patients to a mental health provider as medications may reduce symptoms but does not help the patient deal with the underlying problems that need resolve or teach coping skills. There are some insurance companies that require a physician referral for mental health services, but most don’t. Most insurances help pay for mental health treatment but it is a good idea to check with them about coverage. Individuals also seek mental health treatment on their own or self-refer, in addition to social workers, ministers, employers, family members or friends.

Usually, the initial stage of treatment is meeting with a mental health professional who can be found at nearly all mental health clinics. Usually, the mental health professional meets with the client and learns about the client’s symptoms as well as gains a well-rounded picture of the client’s situation and history. All information shared is confidential with very few exceptions of which the client will be made aware in privacy documents reviewed at intake.

Once the mental health professional has met with the client 1-2 times, they complete a Diagnostic Assessment, a summary of findings that includes treatment options most recommended for that individual. Mental health treatment encompasses a wide range of services based on need. For example, an individual may be recommended to receive psychotherapy in the office or outreach services in their home, if eligible. More intensive services are also offered if an individual is experiencing more serious symptoms, such as psychiatric consultation, case management, psychological testing, psychiatric hospitalization, crisis services, or other placements. The client is free to determine their level of involvement in the services recommended, unless they are at imminent risk of hurting themselves or others. A treatment plan is oftentimes devised in coordination with the client to reduce symptoms and improve their ability to function better in their life. Although it may be nerve-racking to disclose personal parts of yourself, it also helps to know that it is the beginning process of dealing with the problems that keep on interrupting your life. You don’t have to be an island. There is evidenced-based professional treatment that can help!

For more information please visit our mental health services page.

Claudia Liljegren, MSW, LICSW
Mental Health Professional
St. Williams Mental Health

Activities for Seniors: A Day in the Life of an Assisted Living Resident

Where will you live during your golden years?

Senior living is about so much more than location. It’s about finding a balance between community involvement and personal time. And finding a balance between the necessary level of care and the freedom to come and go as you please. 

If you’re looking into post-retirement living options, it’s time you consider assisted living! It’s a customizable option to find the balance you’re looking for.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the activities for seniors available at McCornell Court, St. William’s assisted living facility. And we’ll show you what a day in the life of an assisted living resident really looks like.

Morning Activities for Seniors

Breakfast is served! It is the most important meal of the day, after all. Start your day off right with a delicious breakfast in the facility’s community dining room. 

When you choose assisted living, cooking is optional. The dining hall offers lots of breakfast options to go with any diet. Get the morning meal you want without having to deal with groceries and kitchen clean up. 

And there’s always plenty of hot coffee! Get to know your neighbors while you enjoy mid-morning coffee in the common rooms. If you prefer to take your coffee alone, you can always have a cup outside on the patio. And during the winter, lounge in front of the fireplace with a good book. 

Physical activity is important to keep you aging gracefully. Walk off your breakfast by taking a stroll around the campus. Or work in the raised, community garden during the summer. In the winter months, try out the fitness center instead. And if you’re not quite as mobile as you used to be, you can opt to have outpatient physical therapy on site. 

Not only can you get physical therapy, but you can also arrange to have medical visits at the assisted living facility. Schedule your eye doctor or your podiatry appointment on site. You can even have lab work done or have your dental checkup done right here.

Relax or Ramp-up Your Mid-Day

At St. Williams, there’s always something to do. You’ll receive a copy of the activities calendar every month. Plan ahead or go with the flow! 

Invite your family to have lunch with you in the dining hall. There’s plenty of room to entertain even the largest families. Then, after lunch, head out to the afternoon activity in the nursing home next door. 

Afternoon activities include bingo, dice games, and trivia. Join in for the community happy hour. Or visit the salon for a manicure.

Of course, you can always choose to take it easy. The best part about assisted living is that home is always just a few steps away. Opt for an activity one day and a nap the next day. The choice is yours!

An Evening to Remember

Every evening, the dining hall serves a soup and salad bar to go with your meal. Eat early then head out of the campus to watch the high school football game. 

We offer bus outings to many of the local community events as well. Enjoy live music at the hall. Or sign up for the evening boat ride. 

If you’re not big on social events, choose to stay at home. Because you’re living in your own apartment, you can stay up as late as you like. Whether you’re “early to bed, early to rise” or a true night owl, assisted living offers you flexibility in your sleep schedule

Assisted Living: The Golden Ticket to Your Golden Years!

Assisted living offers you a living situation that’s as unique as you are. At McCornell Court, we offer plenty of activities for seniors. So there’s always something to do or someone to talk to.

We offer a customizable level of care that changes as you do. Let us take care of the mundane aspects of life like housekeeping, cooking, and lawn maintenance. Enjoy your golden years.

Contact us today to learn about all the services we offer at St. William’s Living Center and McCornell Court!