The Role of Physiotherapy in Geriatric Care


Geriatric physio focuses on alleviating pain, improving movement and restoring function. Physiotherapists use a combination of manual therapy techniques and tailored exercise programs to improve mobility and reduce pain.

Physiotherapists are core members of comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) in primary care, specialist elderly care wards, stroke units and the emerging discipline of perioperative care. They are also key players in discharge to assess/virtual ward models of care.

Strengthening and Restoring Muscles

In geriatric care, one of the most common ailments is loss of strength and flexibility. This happens due to age-related health conditions and medication side effects. Ngunnawal physio can help in strengthening muscles and improving balance. It can also reduce discomfort by reducing pain and inflammation.

Physiotherapy focuses on the rehabilitation of a person who has been affected by a medical condition, injury or surgery. It is a non-invasive form of therapy that involves various techniques like manual therapy, therapeutic exercises and joint mobilization. It helps patients with musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, back pain, fractures, and osteoporosis. It also addresses cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and pulmonary disorders.

It can also help patients with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury. It can also improve balance and muscle coordination by retraining the vestibular system, which regulates body balance.

The main goal of physiotherapy is to increase quality of life through exercise, rehabilitation and education. Studies have shown that regular physiotherapy can improve balance, agility, strength, flexibility, and overall quality of life. In addition, it can reduce the risk of falls and fractures. Moreover, it can decrease heart disease, high blood pressure and digestion problems. Additionally, it can also reduce the need for medications. Ultimately, physiotherapy can help people live their lives to the fullest and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.

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Relieving Pain

Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, uses movements and manual techniques to relieve pain. It is a science-based profession that takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and well-being that encompasses the promotion, maintenance, treatment/intervention, habilitation, and rehabilitation of individuals from birth to old age.

Using customized exercise programs and manual therapy interventions, physiotherapy enhances joint mobility, muscle flexibility, and overall movement ability. The goal is to improve overall strength, reduce pain, and encourage independence. The physiotherapy services also include a comprehensive patient education program.

Geriatric care includes identifying and monitoring chronic diseases, as well as helping patients manage symptoms of disease or surgery. It also involves addressing the emotional and social needs of elderly people. The geriatric care team includes physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dietitians, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists.

Geriatric mental health experts are trained to check for depression, which can be difficult to diagnose in older adults because its symptoms can look like those of other conditions. These include shortness of breath or dizziness, which can be confused with heart disease. Psychiatrists can use group cognitive behavioral therapy to help older adults break the negative patterns of thinking that may lead to depression. They can also offer reminiscence/life review therapy to help patients find meaning in their lives.

Preventing Falling

Falling is a major concern for many seniors. One serious fall can lead to a broken bone, concussion or other health problems. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in people over 65 years old.

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Even a first fall can reduce confidence and lead to a less active lifestyle, which makes future falls more likely. It’s important to talk openly with your loved ones about falling and ways to avoid it.

Geriatric physical therapists can teach exercises that improve balance, coordination and strength, which can help prevent falls. They can also show your elderly loved ones how to safely get in and out of beds, cars, chairs and other activities.

Other risk factors for falling include sudden changes in blood pressure, vision and hearing, and certain medications that can dizziness and lightheadedness. It’s important to talk with your loved ones’ doctors about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements.

Physiotherapy can address a range of issues that arise from aging and chronic diseases such as arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, incontinence and more. It can also be helpful for women’s health issues such as menopause, bedwetting and pelvic pain. A physiotherapist will assess your needs and design a treatment program to meet your specific goals.

Increasing Mobility

Keeping mobility is crucial for older adults who want to remain in their homes. They are at higher risk of fall and other health problems if their mobility declines, which can lead to hospitalization or death. Physiotherapy can help improve mobility in geriatric patients through manual therapy and exercises.

Physiotherapy involves many different techniques, including massage, soft tissue manipulation, joint mobilization and manipulation and specialized modalities. These treatments increase flexibility and range of motion in the joints, easing stiffness, improving movement and controlling pain. It also aids in muscle strength rehabilitation and provides cardiovascular fitness training and respiratory re-education.

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As a whole, physiotherapy focuses on the musculoskeletal system, treating conditions like back pain, neck pain, shoulder problems, knee pain and hip problems among others. In addition to these musculoskeletal issues, physiotherapy can also treat vascular disease, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, and psychiatric conditions.

Studies that use objective measurement methods have shown that physiotherapy can significantly improve locomotor capacity (LSM) in people with dementia and frailty. However, most of the studies that have surveyed mobility have used questionnaires, which can suffer from recall and social desirability bias.