The trust practice focuses on screening older adults that come into the Geriatric Medicine Clinic for fall risk and other age-related neuromuscular issues, such as postural problems, core strength, and rotator cuff impairments in addition to balance and overall physical activity using a Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) approach. TIC is strength-based. “Grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the potential impact of trauma, TIC emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety and creates opportunities for patients to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.”1 Educational sessions between the PT and patient introduce the long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on health and the TIC orientation to health care.
Baltimore city residents, and those in Baltimore County that live on the east side of our hospital, face challenges to incorporating physical activity into their daily routines due to socio-economic disparities.
Physical therapists’ knowledge of disease and physical activity positions them as an integral partner with the Geriatric Medicine Clinic to transition from an emphasis of treating chronic diseases to disease prevention and a culture of health and wellness, moving from reactive to proactive. Physical inactivity is a modifiable determinant of health. Between 6-10% of non-communicable disease deaths worldwide are related to physical inactivity. Physical activity level needs to be looked upon as a “vital sign.” Understanding social determinants of health implies that every person should have the right to a healthy quality of life. As physical therapists, we have a responsibility to find ways that allow individuals to achieve this. This is especially needed within Baltimore City, given the low socio-economic and racial inequity.