Occupational and physical therapy can help a senior with mesothelioma cancer maximize their existing skills and adapt to the challenges being faced each day.

Embrace it.

A physical therapist will treat a patient’s impairment at any level, improving it by lessening pain, increasing mobility, strength and coordination, even helping to align joints and bones.

An occupational therapist will teach a patient to complete necessary, everyday tasks by working to overcome the impairments that still exist.

The therapists can make a dramatic difference in how you live.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer caused by a long-ago exposure to asbestos. It starts in the thin lining around the lungs or abdominal cavity, but it can spread rapidly.

The disease can make breathing difficult, cause pain in the chest or abdomen and reduce energy levels, among other serious side effects. In the later cancer stages, it can be debilitating — physically and mentally.

These therapies, though, are designed to maximize your ability to cope with the disease as much as possible. It takes a commitment to try. It often involves new techniques and new tools to get the job done, but it works.

Helping Stay Independent

Occupational therapy can help a person with mesothelioma live a more independent and productive life. It promotes participation in everyday life by incorporating meaningful activities.

A better quality of life can be obtained by improving simple life skills that can be taught or retaught as necessary for any cancer patient.

Regular physical therapy can help manage a long-term illness, improve functionality and help avoid a physical fall that often plagues many seniors and leads to serious injury and setbacks.

A regular program can help an elderly person stay as strong as possible and decrease the risk of more problems.

Benefits of occupational or physical therapy include:

Improved health and wellness. Seniors can redesign their lifestyle with the help of a therapist, who will provide an educational approach that promotes longevity.

Overcome daily-life challenges. Therapists can teach patients ways to compensate to better meet challenges that arise from physical liabilities. Simple things that were once taken for granted but seem out of reach, such as feeding and dressing oneself, can be retaught by a therapist.

Helping caregivers do their job.  A therapist can make a caregiver’s tough job a little easier by providing an assessment of what to expect from the patient as the disease progresses.

Preventing falls. A therapist can prescribe the best way to avoid falls while staying active. Falls are a leading problem for seniors with mesothelioma trying to maintain an everyday lifestyle.

A therapist also can be a good, unbiased judge of the effectiveness of a prescribed treatment from a doctor. A therapist who visits regularly can see the ups and downs that a mesothelioma patient will take.

They can talk to the caregiver and patient about what works best and what isn’t working in terms of improving their life.