PTA Resources

PTAs: Welcome to the APTA Geriatrics PTA Page. This page will be the prime source for PTA specific information, education, development, recognition and leadership opportunities from the Academy. As you know, the APTA Geriatrics is your BEST resource for information specific to treating the growing baby boomer generation and all aging adults. Thank you for your membership.

On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, President Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2018. This bill included the authorization to make Physical Therapy Assistants and Occupational Therapy Assistants eligible providers within the Tricare program. This was the first step to making it possible for assistants to treat patients.

The Secretary of Defense still must update the policy manuals and other regulatory guidance of the Department of Defense and those rules will be forthcoming.

APTA was instrumental in achieving this change, and the effort was supported by other organizations, such as AOTA, ASHA, NARA, NASL and others.

We are celebrating 50 years of the PTA!!

The APTA Geriatrics wants to highlight the contributions of the PTA both within our profession and our association.

We challenge you to tag an outstanding PTA that you work with in the clinic, in our profession, or in our association that lives our mission every day,

"Embracing aging and empowering adults to move, engage, and live well".

View A History of the PTA in Picture presentation

PTA Advanced Proficiency Pathways (APP)

APTA is proud to introduce Advanced Proficiency Pathways (PTA APPs) for the physical therapist assistant (PTA)!

The Physical Therapist Assistant Advanced Proficiency Pathways (PTA APPs) are educational guides to help the licensed PTA gain advanced proficiency knowledge and skill in a selected area of work. Using the PTA APPs, participants complete online core courses common to all of the APPs; content specific courses for the selected area of work; and mentoring experiences with a qualified clinical mentor of the participant's choosing.

Free Informational Webinar on APP

Derek Stepp, director of postprofessional credentialing discusses and presents the new PTA Advanced Proficiency Pathways (APP) program that replaces the PTA recognition program. APP is the premier program for increasing PTAs' knowledge and skill in a chosen area of physical therapy. Content areas are Acute Care, Cardiovascular/Pulmonary, Geriatrics, Oncology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, and Wound Management.

Review recording via Adobe Connect

Essential Competencies in the Care of Older Adults at the Completion of the Entry-level Physical Therapist Assistant Program of Study

An APTA Geriatrics taskforce has developed the document "Essential Competencies in the Care of Older Adults at the Completion of the Entry-Level Physical Therapist Assistant Program of Study" in response to concerns over the preparedness of health care workers to successfully meet the needs of older Americans. This document considers knowledge and skills that should be evident in the entry level PTA providing care to the older adult. While staying true to the core competencies developed by the Partnership for Health in Aging, the PTA taskforce has identified subcompetencies that specifically address the scope of practice of the PTA and maintain the relationship between the PT and the PTA.

Details on the development of the document are outlined in the introductory section. It is hoped that the "Essential Competencies for the PTA" will be used by PTA academic and clinical educators to guide curriculum development and form as a basis for student assessment in geriatric competencies in the clinic and the classroom.

  • Taskforce Members:
    • Fran Wedge, PT, DScPT, GCS (Taskforce Chair) Morton College, IL;
    • Holly Clynch, PT, DPT, GCS, St. Catherine University, MN;
    • Christine Cook, PT, MS, Our Lady of the Lake College, LA;
    • Susan Cotterman, PT, MBA, Marion Technical College, OH;
    • Maureen Raffensperger, PT, DPT, OCS, CEEAA, Missouri Western State University, MO

Questions related to these PTA Essential Competencies can be directed to Dr. Fran Wedge.


Outstanding PTA Award

To recognize a physical therapist assistant for outstanding practice in a geriatric health care setting(s).


The physical therapist assistant plays a vital role in the geriatric setting. Working under the supervision of a physical therapist, the outstanding physical therapist assistant has a positive impact on the attitude of others through exemplary care of the geriatric patient. The intent of this award is to recognize a physical therapist assistant who displays these skills and is a role model for others in geriatric practice.


To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  1. Be a current PTA member of the APTA Geriatrics
  2. Be an advocate for older adults and a role model for excellence in physical therapy treatment of older adults
  3. Have been involved in geriatric clinical practice settings for a minimum of five years
  4. Demonstrate exemplary care and innovative teamwork in meeting the physical therapy needs of older adults.
Nomination Process:

Any current member of the American Physical Therapy Association may nominate a physical therapist assistant who meets the award criteria. Nomination packets should include:

  1. One letter of nomination, addressed to the Awards Committee, describing how the nominee meets the criteria
  2. Up to four letters of support for the nominee, describing how the nominee has demonstrated the criteria
  3. A copy of the nominee's current resume or CV.

The Awards Committee must receive complete nomination packets by November 15.

Selection Process:

Nominations will be reviewed by at least three members of the Awards Committee.


The award will be presented following the Business Meeting during APTA Combined Sections Meeting, usually held in February of each year. It shall consist of a plaque. Forward nominations to: or
APTA Geriatrics
1818 Parmenter St, Ste 300
Middleton, WI 53562
Fax: 608-492-0523

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