Geriatric Physiotherapy

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.

The types of problems faced in geriatric physiotherapy are grouped into three
categories:

  • 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.
  • Cardiovascular disease, like heart disease and stroke. The physiotherapist has an array of tools at her disposal to work with these conditions: Exercise, aqua
    therapy, electrical stimulation, and more can be used.
  • Skeletal problems such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. These conditions require special attention: while osteoporosis makes patients frailer, osteoarthritis is very painful.

Geriatric physical therapy is a proven means for the elderly to improve mobility, balance, build strength, and therefore, boost confidence in their physical abilities and remain active for years to come. However, some of the work of geriatric physiotherapy is not aimed at returning patients to their earlier states of health, but rather, to function to their best of abilities.

Due to poor balance, the elderly tend to fall. As Geriatric physiotherapy focuses on balance and gait-training, the chances of the elderly falling become less likely.

Another role of geriatric physiotherapy is to help with rehabilitation after knee- or hip replacement surgeries. As there is a tendency for patients to walk differently after these operations, it would affect their ability to do daily chores and their quality of life. Physiotherapists can help.