Geriatric physical therapy covers a wide area of problems concerning the elderly. There are many conditions that affect people as they grow older and include but are not limited to the following: arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip and joint replacement, balance disorders, incontinence, etc. Geriatric physical therapists specialise in providing therapy for such conditions and ailments.
Physiotherapists play a key role in enabling older people to use a number of the body’s systems fully to enhance mobility and independence. Sadly, in some situations, neither improvements nor even maintenance of functional mobility can’t be achieved. In those particular cases, physiotherapists can make a difference by helping older people to be comfortable and pain free.
Geriatric physiotherapy became a specialty of physical therapy study in 1989. Since then, physiotherapists have worked to understand the problems of the ageing. There is a vast list of issues dealt with in geriatric physiotherapy.
The types of problems faced in geriatric physiotherapy are grouped into three different categories. One category is the problems that happen because the patient simply does not use their limbs or does not exercise. These problems can be addressed by reconditioning through range-of-motion exercises and other exercises.
Another category geriatric physiotherapy deals with is cardiovascular disease, like heart disease and stroke. The physiotherapy professional has an array of tools at her disposal to work with these conditions. Exercise, aqua therapy, electrical stimulation, and more can be used.
The third category is skeletal problems. Geriatric physiotherapy helps people who have these disorders, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. These problems require special attention as osteoporosis makes patients frailer, and osteoarthritis is very painful.
Because falls are such a problem, the osteoporosis therapy is crucial. Along with that, geriatric physiotherapy is responsible for preventing many falls because of work with balance and gait. Some clinics focus entirely on balance issues for the elderly.
Geriatric physical therapy is a proven means for older adults to improve mobility and balance, build strength, boost confidence in their physical abilities, and nonetheless, remain active over years. However, some of the work of geriatric physiotherapy is not aimed at returning patients to their earlier states of health. The most important goals are to be able to function at their best abilities. Doing everyday tasks and living an unconfined life are valuable assets.
At the same time, geriatric physiotherapy can have a profound affect on a person’s ability to enjoy physical activities. Golf is an activity that many seniors enjoy. It can be a very hazardous sport for the elderly if they are not in condition to play. It does have many health benefits, too.
Geriatric physiotherapy can focus on physical training to get an older adult in shape to play sports like golf. This strengthens them in many ways. The fact that it allows them to play golf will make them even healthier, both physically and psychologically. Since depression is a growing problem among the elderly, any help they can get in this area is needed.
Another role of geriatric physiotherapy is to help with rehabilitation after knee or hip replacement surgeries. People who have these operations are likely to walk differently. It affects their abilities to do daily chores, and their quality of life. Physiotherapists can help.
Some people turn to physiotherapy as a form of treatment after an accident, or in relation to other conditions. Others are referred to physiotherapy clinics by their doctors for specific problems. Still others end up in geriatric physiotherapy care in hospitals or nursing homes after accidents or illnesses. All of these people get great benefits, contributing to their physical abilities and helping to maintain their independence for longer periods of time.