Physical therapists dedicate their careers to working one-on-one with patients who have mobility problems. Upon retirement, these health care professionals might seek rewarding and fulfilling part-time or volunteer work. Many opportunities for retirees can incorporate the skills they used during their physical therapy careers--compassion, interpersonal skills and patience. This work can help to ease the transition from full-time physical therapy work to retirement.
Senior Center Activities Director/Volunteer
Whether you choose to volunteer at your local senior center or take on a full-time position, this experience can remind you of your physical therapy career in a more relaxed environment.
As a senior center activities director or volunteer, you are responsible for designing engaging and age-appropriate activities to keep seniors active both mentally and physically. With a background in physical therapy, you are knowledgeable about the physical limitations of the elderly, which can help you choose programs that suit their needs. Moreover, you can use your physical therapy expertise to assist seniors who struggle to complete the activities. This position promotes good health and exercise for the aging population.
Use your physical therapy knowledge to help people in your community build an exercise plan appropriate for their age and activity level. As a physical therapist, you worked with patients with mobility problems to develop fitness and nutrition programs to fit their lifestyle. Use these skills after retirement to build personalized fitness plans for clients. You can work as a consultant at a gym or community center, or you can simply work out of your home and visit with patients to assess their mobility and exercise capabilities before designing a plan that suits their lifestyle.
As some children grow, they experience physical developmental problems that can hinder their mobility and decrease their self-confidence in the classroom and beyond. Many schools do not have the resources to have a physical therapist on staff, and parents might not even know who can help their children.
Talk to your area's school superintendent about volunteering or working part-time as a physical therapist for the district's students. You can work with students one-on-one or in small groups to teach them how to improve their mobility and overcome their developmental delays. Naturally, this position will require many of the skills you used during your physical therapy career.
Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.