Health Professions

PT students perform health screenings at senior center

Student helping an elderly patient at a senior center

Third-year physical therapy students performed health screenings on April 27 during a health fair at the District 2 Senior Center in San Antonio.

The screenings were part of a Lifespan course PT students take in the final semester of their program, said Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Martha M. Acosta, PhD, PT, GCS.

“A health screening of the older adult is a very important, proactive approach to maintaining good health and quality of life,” said Dr. Acosta, who supervised the screenings. “In addition to identifying potential problems, students educate the participants at the health fair on how to better manage age-related issues and increase their self-awareness and confidence in good health.”  

Students screened participants for balance, cognition, emergency preparedness, home safety, joint health, nutrition, strength/physical activity and vision. Students also shared information with the community-dwelling seniors who attend daily programming at the center in the form of educational pamphlets the students designed to help program participants improve their quality of life, Dr. Acosta said.

Nicholas Dennis, one of the student participants, graduated in May and will begin working as a physical therapist in an acute care setting at a local hospital in June. He enjoyed the in-person activity.

“Especially after COVID-19 taking up a lot of our time for so long, it was a great way to jump back in and promote health to adults who are looking for ways to be doing that,” he said. “It was a really cool experience.”

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