Tamara Gravano

Geriatrics - Nothing to be afraid of: Evidence-Based Physical Therapy for Older Adults

Dr. Gravano is an Associate Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the Director of Survey Research at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. She earned her BHS, MSPT, and transitional DPT from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida and completed her EdD in Leadership Studies (emphasis in Higher Education Administration) from Marshall University in 2017.

Gravano is one of the first two graduates of the first Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency Program (2004), and earned the APTA Emerging Leader award in 2007, Lucy Blair Service award in 2017, and is a Joan Mills award recipient from the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy. She currently serves her profession on many American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) committees: Editorial review board member for the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Board member of the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE), Board of Directors of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy (AGPT), and was founding Chair of the AGPT Residency and Fellowship Special Interest Group. She is a past (2010-2012) Chair of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Geriatric Council, and is a former Item Writer for the National Physical Therapy Board Examination of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). Dr. Gravano is also the co-director and faculty member for the AGPT Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (CEEAA) course series and a Certified Clinical Instructor Trainer for the APTA.

Dr. Gravano's teaching interests are in geriatrics and the integumentary system, and her clinical practice is in skilled nursing and inpatient rehabilitation. Current research interests are Leadership in Higher Education, PT Clinical Education, & Fall Prevention.

Session Description

Physical Therapists treat older adults in nearly every setting. Yet, many PTs feel unprepared to manage the aging patient, especially those individuals with multiple comorbidities. This often leads to missed opportunities to provide specific and intensive interventions. Learners in this course will be provided with the tools necessary to identify common functional deficits and prescribe a safe and effective plan of care in order to make

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, the learner will:

  1. Discuss the demographics of aging adults and their risk factors for disease.
  2. Distinguish the normal age-related changes of the body systems from pathological changes.
  3. Understand the use of evidence-based tests and measures commonly used with aging adults.
  4. Develop an exercise prescription to meet the needs of various systems, as well as any modifications.
  5. Given a case scenario, design an evidence-based plan of care to improve function.
  6. Discuss readiness for change and how to handle barriers to a plan of care.