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The Benefits of Lymphedema Therapy for Older Adults

a person grips their leg around the knee while sitting

As we age, our bodies undergo changes that can result in a variety of health issues. Lymphedema is one such issue that can affect older adults and cause swelling in the arms and legs. Fortunately, lymphedema therapy offers a range of benefits that help alleviate the symptoms of this condition. Even better news? HealthStar Home Health therapists and nurses have specialized training in lymphedema therapy. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of lymphedema therapy specifically for older adults.

Why Treat Lymphedema?

  1. Extra fluid: especially in the lower extremities, can increase the risk of falling.
  2. Carrying the extra weight with fluid in the lower extremities can increase difficulty with transfers and potentially decrease independence with everyday activities.
  3. Increased fluid in any extremity can increase the risk of wounds and put the patient at increased risk of developing cellulitis (infection of the skin).
  4. Lymphedema/edema can be very uncomfortable!

Benefits of Lymphedema Therapy

  1. Improve range of motion: Lymphedema therapy incorporates a range of exercises and stretches aimed at improving range of motion. This is especially important for older adults who may experience limited mobility. By increasing range of motion, individuals can move around more freely, perform daily tasks with greater ease, and maintain their independence.
  2. Reduce swelling: One of the primary goals of lymphedema therapy is to reduce swelling in the affected limbs. This can be incredibly beneficial for older adults who may struggle with mobility issues as a result of the swelling. By reducing swelling, lymphedema therapy can improve quality of life and help individuals maintain a more active lifestyle.
  3. Prevent infection: Lymphedema can increase the risk of infection in the affected limbs. Lymphedema therapy can help prevent infections by promoting lymphatic drainage and improving circulation. This is especially important for older adults who may be more susceptible to infections due to a weakened immune system.
  4. Increase strength: Lymphedema therapy often includes strength training exercises aimed at building muscle and increasing overall strength. This can be especially beneficial for older adults who may experience muscle weakness as a result of the lymphedema or the aging process in general. By increasing strength, individuals can maintain their independence and perform daily tasks with greater ease.
  5. Improve emotional well-being: Lymphedema can be a frustrating and debilitating condition, causing feelings of anxiety and depression. Lymphedema therapy can help improve emotional well-being by providing individuals with a sense of control over their condition. By learning techniques to manage their lymphedema, individuals can feel more confident and empowered to manage their symptoms.

Lymphedema therapy can provide a variety of benefits for older adults struggling with this condition. By improving range of motion, reducing swelling, preventing infections, increasing strength, and improving emotional well-being, lymphedema therapy can help older adults maintain their independence and enjoy a higher quality of life. HealthStar Home Health has specialized therapists and nurses who are trained in lymphedema therapy. Reach out to your local HealthStar branch office to find out how to get started.