Aging is part of life. The majority of people hope to live longer. However, old age comes with its own share of complications that if not handled well can turn this last phase of growth into a liability.
Older people tend to suffer more from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, balance disorders, osteoporosis, incontinence, cancer, hip or joint replacement, etc.
Geriatric physiotherapy was devised to help the elderly cope with these conditions. Many people tend to assume that physiotherapy is all about realigning the broken bones of accident victims or training the limbs of people living with paralysis.
There is more to it and geriatric is yet another branch. It is a medical specialty that focuses on providing therapy for the aging ones so that they are not overwhelmed by these disorders.
Left to their own devices, the elderly would soon lose their physical fitness and mobility. Meanwhile, they would be experiencing much body pain due to physical inactivity. Older people tend to slow down the more they age.
But through geriatric physiotherapy, they can develop methods to remain active, thereby improving their physical well-being, which in turn impacts their mobility, strength, and confidence.
It offers older people the opportunity to prolong their independence and productivity. This way, they do not become a liability to others or themselves. They can take a solo walk without the fear of falling.
Indeed, falling is one of the nightmares the inactive elderly have to endure each time they take a walk. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of all the elderly population loses balance and fall every year.
The results from such falls include fractures and other forms of body injuries. Hip fractures tend to be most common. Many aging adults have been hospitalized after suffering a hip fracture following a fall.
Forms of Geriatric Physical Therapy
At the elderly care physiotherapy centre, the aging adult will enroll in some geriatric programs designed to keep him physically fit. These are done mainly through education, exercise, and manual therapy.
Learning has no end. Even in their old age, people still have much to learn to live a healthy life. At the elderly care physiotherapy centre, education is used to arm the elderly with the knowledge or ideas that can help them avoid injuries when they are engaged in daily routines.
They learn ways to improve their life quality through the aid of assistive devices that modern technology has created to make life easier.
The easiest way one can take to aging fast with endless complications is sitting down every day doing nothing. Lack of physical activities to flex the muscles is unhealthy, even for the younger generation. But exercise is more than just performing a task.
A right exercise program is designed to engage every part of the body. It aims to improve a person’s flexibility, coordination, balance, physical endurance, and muscle strength. Not every daily task one does impact all these.
An older adult who takes part in geriatric physical therapy can hardly fall. Some of the exercises he practices regularly include squatting, press-ups, walking, aquatic therapy, stretching, lifting weights, etc. These he does under a geriatrician. With time, the elderly learn to take these exercises even alone at home.
It is used to heal an injury or to restore mobility to a person who has developed complications due to prolonged inactivity. It involves acupuncture or manipulation of one’s muscles and joints. Massage is also part of it. All these work to improve the person’s circulation or reduce pain.
How Our Physiotherapists Help With Geriatric Physical Therapy
At Prime Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Services, we have a team of qualified physiotherapists who have been through accredited education programs. Their experience and skills come in handy, especially in geriatric physical therapy.
They educate the older adults to understand and appreciate the anatomical and physiological changes that old age brings upon them.
The elderly also get to understand that aging does not necessarily have to be a painful phase where one rapidly slows down in mobility. With that information, the elderly can then learn to adapt and live active lives that help keep old-age diseases at bay.
Stroke, amputations, cardiac and pulmonary complications, dementia’s, balance disorders, urinary and fecal incontinence are other diseases to watch out for.
But how do our physiotherapists go about the geriatric rehabilitation physiotherapy? First, our physiotherapists will evaluate one’s particular condition. With that in mind, a therapeutic exercise program is then designed, which favors that specific condition. It is essential that each case is handled uniquely. It’s not a same-shoe-size-for-all kind of approach.
But basically, the programs involve exercises, screening, manual therapy, and educational information all that work together to accomplish the following:
- Improve general health through regular exercise.
- Reduce or eliminate pains such as back or neck pain.
- Help regain the lost functional abilities.
- Utilize energy conservation techniques to stay strong.
- Master the usage of assistive devices to be able to live with less outside support.
- Improve or regain flexibility, range of motion, endurance and coordination balance.
- Learn to adapt to the old-age changes and transform the person’s home to be accommodative to his condition in terms of safety and accessibility.
- Learn safer walking skills, postures, and transfers all which enhance maximum function and independence.
- Improve sensation.
- Manage breathing problems like asthma.
- Recovery following a surgery or accident.
How Our Physiotherapy Services Can Help the Elderly
As one gets to old age, the body will gradually change no matter how healthy he is. Some of these changes include a decrease in muscle mass and bone density. One’s body fat levels may also shoot up while the joints can get stiffer.
But the good news is that over half of all old-age ailments can be managed by merely avoiding inactivity. When the joints, muscles and bones are subjected to disuse even by a youth, they develop the so-called old-age diseases.
So to stay healthy, agile and independent for more extended sunset years, one should find ways to get back into shape. Seeking geriatric care physiotherapy is one sure way for reversing the conditions.
Prime Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Services is one such elderly care physiotherapy centre where one can find relief from these symptoms of inactivity.
Below are the methods our physiotherapists use to help the elderly maintain overall fitness:
Avoiding Injury and Severe Pain
Our approach is not just to treat injuries but to equip the patients with skills with which they can prevent these injuries. They get to learn to maintain mobility and balance, which are the main ways for preventing damages occasioned by falling. Severe pains caused by old wounds that never healed well or arthritis can be treated by physiotherapy.
On the other hand, physiotherapy intervention will save the patient from having to bear the unintended side-effects that sometimes follow the pharmaceutical medications.
Staying Fit and Full of Fun
Aging, if managed well, cannot limit one’s abilities. Staying active is a choice one can make throughout his lifespan. Whether you are a golf player, horse-rider or a volleyball player, you can carry on with it past your youthful days.
Our physiotherapists will advise you on how to train safely in a way that takes into account your advanced age and vulnerability. It is all about learning to adapt to the changes in you and never letting the changes control you fully.
As happens most time, the more people age, the more they withdraw from active life and from their fun activities that used to give their lives meaning. Now sidelined, they can only talk of the Good Old Days to whoever may listen.
You do not have to walk to the sunset gloomily. Not when physiotherapy is on standby to regularly revive your spirit and keep you on your feet.
Who Can Benefit From Elderly Rehabilitation?
Elderly care physiotherapy is highly essential for you if:
- You have had an accident from which you suffered injuries.
- You have fallen or are prone to falling.
- You are in the process of losing your independence and mobility due to old-age complications.
- You are experiencing constant body pain that is interfering with your daily activities.
- You are recovering following a surgery or an operation.
- You want to continue enjoying your fun activities even in your old age.
- You want to recover from old wounds that did not heal properly.
Overall Benefits of Elderly Rehabilitation
Being part of our elderly care physiotherapy offers you many benefits that in the long run help you achieve the following:
- Improving your quality of life
- Taking charge of your life once you regain your independence, thereby being able to out routine activities.
- Walking without the fear of falling, having learned to balance through walking re-education.
- Maintaining your muscle strength.
- Improved safety in every activity you partake.
- Restored sense of self-worth or confidence, which in turn boosts your self-esteem.
With all this information, the ball is now in your court. If you would like to find out how you can benefit from geriatric care physiotherapy, book an appointment with us. Our physiotherapists will carry out a detailed evaluation and then advise on the suitable geriatric programs.
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