Prevent Falls with These Senior Exercises for Balance

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults?

Falls happen at all ages, but as we grow older, we lose muscle tone and our balance suffers. This leads to a higher risk of falling. Fortunately, balance, like any physical ability, can be improved with regular practice and exercise.

In this article, we’ll go over four senior exercises for balance that, if done regularly, can help prevent falls and keep your body strong and healthy for years to come.

The Tight Rope Walk

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms straight out at your sides, parallel to the ground. Pick up one foot and place it in front of the other to form a line, like walking over a tight rope. Pause for a second or two to make sure you’re balanced and then repeat with the next foot.

See how far you can go across the room with this exercise. It’s a great exercise for helping your brain and feet coordinate and developing strength in your feet and ankles. And, as an added bonus, you’ll develop strength in your arms and shoulders by holding them out at your sides.

Tree Pose

Tree is an ancient yoga pose that’s known to help improve balance. There are many variations of this pose, so you can adjust it to your skill level and increase the difficulty as you improve.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Pick up your right foot and balance on your left, holding your right foot just above the floor. If you have the ability, turn your right foot in, placing the sole of your right foot on your left inner calf to form a triangle wiht your right leg.

Once you’ve mastered this, pick your arms up and raise them straight out at your sides, fingers stretched wide to mimic a tree leaf. Then reach your arms up over your head and touch your palms together.

Again, if you can’t do this on the first go, it’s okay to only do a portion of this pose to start. Finally, hold the pose for several seconds, then repeat on the other leg.

Sit, Stand, Sit

This simple exercise can make a big difference in your leg strength over time. Your legs are the base for your body, so the stronger your leg muscles, the more steady your base and the less likely you are to fall.

Start by sitting in a chair facing a wall. Leave enough space between your legs and the wall to allow you to stand up comfortably.

Touch the wall with your palms to steady yourself. Then rise up out of the chair to a standing position. If you need to, you can place your hands on the arms or seat of the chair and use them to help push you up.

Once you’re standing, sit back down in the chair and repeat the process 10 times, or as many times as you’re comfortable.

Mountain Pose

Mountain is another ancient yoga pose designed to help with balance. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands down at your sides. Face forward and close your eyes.

Mentally check in with your feet and legs. Feel your feet root to the ground to form a strong base for your body or “mountain”. Stand like this with your eyes closed as long as you like.

This seems like a simple exercise, but it’s very important for keeping your mind connected with your feet. The more aware you are of your feet and legs, the less likely you are to fall when you’re caught off guard.

Try These Senior Exercises for Balance

These senior exercises for balance are a great way to improve your balance from home. However, if you have a history of falls or recurring injuries, you should talk to your doctor about physical therapy to help with balance.

At St. William’s Living Center, we have a physical therapists on staff to help you with all of your exercise needs. Contact us today to learn about how physical therapy can help you recover and prevent falls in the future.

Why Physical Therapy Is Perfect for Recurring Injury Treatment

Do you have a pesky injury? Something you may have done years ago that comes back to haunt you every few months?

Usually, these recurring injuries are caused by an underlying problem. And if we ignore the issue and “fight” through the pain and discomfort, we aren’t really doing ourselves any good.

That’s where physical therapy (PT) can help. Keep reading to learn why PT is perfect for recurring injury treatment.

Fix the Root of the Problem

Physical therapists are specially trained to assess your injury and treat it so you can get back your mobility. There are a number of factors that might cause recurring pain from an old injury.

Scar tissue can build up, affecting flexibility and range of motion. PT improves range of motion through specific exercises that target the area where the scar tissue has developed. Greater range of motion means less pain and less chance that you’ll re-injure the area in the future.

Also, injuries may cause you to favor one set of muscles over another. This lack of use can cause weakness in the muscles surrounding the injury point. A physical therapist treats this by giving you exercises that strengthen the muscles around the injury site. Strengthening these muscles will not only help heal the old injury, but it will prevent future injuries in the same area.

Get Pain Relief Without Pills

Physical pain from an injury can last for weeks or months. And it can severely limit your ability to move and interact with others. 

Pain medication is one way to limit pain, but it isn’t always the best answer. Strong medication is potentially addictive and dangerous if abused. Plus, it doesn’t actually treat an injury, but instead, only masks the pain.

PT is an excellent alternative to pain medication. Stretching is one way that physical therapists help relieve pain. Muscle and joint stretches loosen up tight tissues, giving you greater flexibility and reducing painful movements.

Also, your physical therapist will work on ways to improve blood flow to injured tissue, which reduces inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most common causes of pain in the body. They treat inflammation with heat/cold therapy, massage therapy, and ultrasound treatments. 

Heal the Injury, Avoid the Surgery

It’s true that sometimes, surgery is necessary. Especially if you’re dealing with an injury that’s been lingering for months or years. But it’s also true that giving physical therapy a try might help you avoid surgery altogether. 

There are a number of common ailments that often benefit more from PT than from surgery. Minor knee issues, like meniscal tears, improve over time with strengthening exercises performed by a physical therapist. 

A physical therapist can improve mild to moderate arthritis through weight-bearing exercises that strengthen the joints. And smaller rotator cuff tears respond really well to stretching and strengthening.

Whenever you can skip the surgery, it’s a win for you. It allows you to avoid the additional pain and recovery time it takes to heal from surgery. Plus, you avoid a hospital stay, which comes with a hefty price tag.

Injury Treatment Done the Right Way

PT is an excellent form of injury treatment. If you suffer from recurring injuries, it’s time you get to the root of the problem and treat the underlying cause. Nobody should have to live with recurring pain from injuries.
At St. William’s Living Center, we have an incredibly talented outpatient therapy team. Visit our website to learn more about the types of therapy we offer. And make your physical therapy appointment today!

4 Undeniable Reasons St. William’s Living Center is the Long-Term Care Facility for You

Have you planned for your future? If not, it’s time to start!

You’ll want to consider creating a detailed long-term care plan. And that plan should include what facility you’d like to live in if the time comes when you need full-time nursing care.

St. William’s Living Center in Parkers Prairie, MN should be at the top of your list. And we’re about to tell you why!

Keep reading to learn four undeniable reasons that St. William’s is the long-term care facility for you.

State-Of-the-Art Therapy Clinic

In our recent remodel, we revamped our therapy clinic. With our new, expanded facility, we can now support a wide variety of therapies right here on our main campus.

The trained physical therapy staff works with residents to improve range of motion, increase strength, and manage pain. And the therapy clinic isn’t only for residents. We offer injury treatment services to a wide variety of patients, including student-athletes.

Our occupational therapists work with residents on day-to-day living activities like cooking and cleaning. And our speech pathologists help residents communicate more effectively and work on memory skills.

Private Rooms and Private Bathrooms

The new, remodeled campus offers private rooms to all incoming residents. Private rooms are an important part of making your new home feel more like your old home.

Most private rooms have their own private bathroom. Many rooms have a handicap accessible-shower with your own space for toiletries and personal items. These rooms have a more modern feel and improve privacy for our residents.

Incredible Food and Fun Activities

If you love delicious food, St. William’s has you covered! In fact, resident satisfaction surveys consistently rate our food as top-notch. When you choose St. William’s for your long-term care needs, you’ll get a variety of food options for each meal.

We also have an all-star activities staff. Every month, a new activities calendar comes out so you can plan your activity time in advance. We treat our residents to live music, regular bingo sessions, weekly happy hour, and weekend church services.

5-Star Rating on Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare

At St. William’s, we’re very proud to have a consistent history of 5-star ratings from Medicare.gov’s Nursing Home Compare program. This means that we rank above the state and national average in all of the following categories:

  • Health inspections
  • Fire safety inspections
  • Staffing
  • Quality of resident care
  • Zero fines or penalties in the last three years

Resident care is our top priority and these excellent ratings are a testament to the dedication of our amazing staff.

The Perfect Long-Term Care Facility for You

When creating a long-term care plan, it’s important to do your research. Discuss the options with your family members and make sure they have a copy of your plan. This is the best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out when the time comes for long-term care.

And part of your research should be to visit the facility you’re interested in. St. William’s would love to show you everything we have to offer! Contact us today to schedule a visit to our campus.

Send the Pills Packing: Why You Should Choose Physical Therapy for Pain Management

Whoever coined the phrase, “No pain, no gain” obviously didn’t have to deal with chronic pain on a daily basis.

For those of us who do suffer from chronic pain, we know that the only way to gain our lives back is to find relief. Pain is not normal and if you live with pain, you need to seek help for it asap.

Many people turn to pain medication to help relieve pain. And medication is an effective method of neutralizing the pain as long as it’s strictly monitored by a physician. But medication has its downsides too.

Physical therapy for pain management is also an effective way to send pain packing. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the problems with taking pain medications. And why PT might be a great alternative.

The Problems with Pain Meds

When prescribed by a doctor, pain medications are usually safe and effective. But doctors never truly know how their patients will react to medications. Here are a few of the most common problems with pain meds.

Pills Mask the Pain

Opioids are chemicals produced naturally by your body in response to pain. Prescription opioids mimic these chemicals, causing the body to relax and the pain to lessen. But they don’t actually treat anything.

Often, the underlying cause of pain is much more complicated. It may have to do with bone and joint health. Or it may be because of nerve damage or tissue disease.

Pills are Addictive

Pain medications are highly addictive. And although your doctor may have your best interest at heart, they never know how you’ll react to chemicals introduced to your body.

Once you’re addicted to pain medication, it’s very difficult to quit. Many times the body goes into withdrawal. And you may have to take more medications to help you recover.

There’s No End

Because pain medicine doesn’t actually heal the underlying cause of pain, there’s really no end in sight. And for many, the prospect of taking pain medicine indefinitely can be depressing. Discuss this issue with your doctor before starting a pain medication regimen.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Pain Mangement

Fortunately, there are plenty of natural alternatives to relieve pain. Physical therapy is a great way to keep your body moving and fix the underlying causes of pain.

PT often includes a series of stretches. These stretches can loosen up tight muscles and help you move around with less pain. Stretching also helps increase the range of motion in your joints, another great way to relieve pain.

Your physical therapist will work on exercises that increase strength. When you strengthen your bones and muscles, you’re less likely to feel pain when you move around. And you’re also less likely to injure yourself again.

But PT isn’t always about stretching and exercising. There are other treatments available in the physical therapy room that can help you deal with pain. These treatments include electrical and ultrasound stimulation to help with blood flow to your joints.

Your therapy might include heat and cold treatments that can reduce pain and inflammation. You might also receive a therapeutic massage during your session. Massages are great for improving blood flow and loosening muscles.

Ready to Schedule Your PT Appointment?

At St. William’s Living Center, we have a brand-new, state-of-the-art physical therapy treatment center at our main campus in Parkers Prairie. Our trained therapists are experts at administering physical therapy for pain management.

Call our office today to set up your appointment with our therapy staff. You won’t regret it!

Why You Need a Physical Therapist for Sports Injuries

Injury. 

As an athlete, this is one of the worst words you can hear. Nobody wants to be sidelined while their team goes on to win the big game.

But injuries are inevitable. And the more you play, the more you’ll encounter. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to speed up your recovery and help prevent injuries in the future.

In this article, we’ll tell you why you need a physical therapist for sports injuries.

PT Speeds Up Recovery

Trying to go it alone is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a student athlete. All the Googling in the world won’t help you recover as fast as you can when you attend regular physical therapy

A physical therapist is specially trained to support recovery of sports injuries. They know the physical limitations that common sports injuries cause. And they can tailor your therapy routine to work through those limitations more effectively than you can do on your own.

If you need surgery for your injury, it’s vital that you get physical therapy afterward to keep your body in shape while you recover. Your therapist will help you stretch and build your muscles so you won’t lose any ground during recovery. 

One issue that athletes encounter when they’re recovering from injury is that they lose range of motion in their joints. When this happens, your body becomes stiff and unresponsive. Regular therapy sessions help keep your joints flexible so you can get back in the game as soon as your injury heals. 

PT Helps Prevent Future Injuries

PT sessions don’t just help you heal, they give you the tools you need to ensure the injury doesn’t happen again. Physical therapists work with you to provide exercises that strengthen your core as well as your limbs. A strong core is essential for preventing future injuries.

When you work on strengthening core muscles, you become more stable and balanced when you move. This increased stability helps you avoid falls which are a common cause of sports injuries. 

Working your core also improves your performance on the field or court. You’ll be more agile with stronger core muscles. And this agility means you can make quicker cuts and avoid more hits.

Regular stretching is another important part of injury prevention. Muscles are like rubber bands. If they aren’t flexible, they’re more likely to break when you overuse them. The only way to make them more flexible is to stretch them regularly. Your therapist will give you specific stretching exercises to do before and after every workout.

PT Isn’t Only About Exercise

We often think of PT as a place we go to stretch and strengthen. But there are many other aspects of PT. 

Physical therapists often use ice and heat treatments to reduce inflammation and improve range of motion. They also utilize massage therapy to help work out and soothe tightened muscles. These treatments also improve blood flow. And increased blood flow means faster healing of damaged tissue.

Your therapist may also recommend an ultrasound treatment or electrical stimulation. These treatments send high-frequency waves into the deep tissue of your muscles. This is another great way to improve blood flow. 

Need a Physical Therapist for Sports Injuries?

Did you know that St. William’s Outpatient Therapy Clinic serves clients of all ages? We have a new, state-of-the-art therapy room. Our therapists are experienced with orthopedic rehabilitation services. And we offer flexible hours to fit within your busy schedule as a student. 

You don’t even need a doctor’s note! Physical therapy is something you can do on your own. It’s a smart choice for any student athlete to recover faster and prevent future injuries.
So, what are you waiting for? Call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists.

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!

Fall Protection for Rehab

Here is one of our new pieces of equipment that we now have available in our new Outpatient therapy clinic. 

There are many different types of patients who could benefit from using the Solo-Step such as:

-Neurological Disorders
-Balance Disorders
-Geriatrics
-Bariatrics
-Pediatrics
-Amputees
High Performance Athletes (ACL tears)
-Adaptive Athletes
-Anyone at risk of falling