The need for physiotherapy in senior years

20. March 2023

the need for physiotherapy in senior years

As you get older, there are a lot of things to appreciate in life.

After decades of working hard, you get to enjoy the slower pace of life in retirement.

You can discover new hobbies, join groups in your local community and spend more time with your family and loved ones.

But one of the common drawbacks of ageing is that it brings lots of changes to your body.

As you get older, you’re more likely to suffer from pain and stiffness, a reduction in mobility and flexibility and a decline in your balance and coordination. You also become more at risk for certain neurological conditions.

Physiotherapy can’t stop the clock. It can’t reverse the ageing process.

But aged care physiotherapy can help you to maintain your strength and mobility as you get older and make living with certain conditions more comfortable.

A trained physiotherapist that specialises in elderly care can provide a wide range of benefits, helping you to retain your independence and quality of life.

What is physiotherapy, and what does a physiotherapist do?

When people think of physiotherapy, they often think of athletes trying to recover from an injury or people that might be suffering from poor posture at work.

But physiotherapy can help people of all ages and backgrounds improve movement and mobility across their body, reduce pain and stiffness, improve balance and coordination, recover from surgeries, or regain movement after suffering from a neurological condition.

This makes aged care physiotherapy particularly effective for elderly patients.

If physiotherapy is recommended for your condition, you’ll want to find a chartered, licensed physiotherapist.

A physiotherapist is a trained professional who specialises in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide range of physical issues across your body.

If you’re an older patient, you’ll want to choose a physiotherapist that has expertise and experience in elderly care. They will be more likely to understand your circumstances and situation and have the best chance of helping you regain the confidence, mobility and independence that you’re looking for.

The first time you visit a physiotherapist, they are likely to conduct an initial assessment. They will review your medical history, current symptoms and check things like your current range of motion.

Once your physiotherapist has all the information they need, they will develop a personalised treatment plan that is tailored just for you. A typical treatment plan might include a variety of stretches, strengthening exercises, manual treatments and advice and education about how best to manage your condition.

An important part of aged care physiotherapy is the follow-up.

Attendance at follow-up appointments helps the physiotherapist to monitor your condition and how you’re responding to treatment.

It also helps them understand if they need to make any adjustments to your treatment plan and if you need support from other elderly care services.

The benefits of aged care physiotherapy for the elderly

Aged care physiotherapy is valuable for anyone that is looking to maintain their physical health and independence as they move into later life.

Some of the main benefits of working with a physiotherapist include:

Maintaining independence

When you begin to suffer from aches or pains in your body, it can make it more challenging to complete those day-to-day activities that you previously took for granted.

Going to the supermarket, taking a walk with friends, even just keeping on top of the housework can make you feel apprehensive when you’re not sure how your body will react.

But the less active you become, the more you’re likely to suffer from joint pain and muscle weakness. It can become a vicious cycle.

Physiotherapy can help you alleviate certain types of pain, increase mobility and build muscle strength so that you can be confident in retaining your physical independence without the need for mobility aids.

Improving mental wellness

When you become less able to do certain activities that you previously enjoyed without pain, it can take a mental toll.

You might become frustrated, lose confidence, feel anxious or even show symptoms of depression.

By working with an aged care physiotherapist to improve your overall physical function, you can get back to doing some of your favourite activities without pain and without fear. This can help your confidence and mental well-being.

Many stretches and exercises that a physiotherapist might advise are also effective in releasing endorphins, which can reduce your perception of pain and increase your overall feelings of well-being.

Improving circulation

As you get older, it’s common for your circulation to deteriorate.

Cold hands and feet? Occasional numbness in your fingers and toes? Swelling around the ankles? All of these are potential signs of poor circulation.

Physiotherapy can help improve your circulation. Based on your initial consultation, a physiotherapist might advise massage or various exercises to help get your circulation going.

Managing arthritis symptoms

Arthritis affects millions of people across the UK. It causes inflammation in your joints, which can reduce your mobility and commonly results in feelings of pain and stiffness.

A physiotherapist that specialises in elderly care can help patients suffering from arthritis with a combination of heat therapy to relax joints, stretching and strengthening exercises to improve mobility, and manual techniques to reduce pain.

Coping with osteoporosis

As you get older, you’re more likely to suffer from osteoporosis. This is a condition that weakens your bones, making them more fragile and more likely to break if you have a trip or fall.

Physiotherapy can help strengthen your bones and can also provide guidance to aid your balance and coordination to help reduce the likelihood of trips and falls.

Common recommendations for patients suffering from osteoporosis include weight-bearing activities such as walking and exercises to improve balance.

Aiding in post-surgery rehabilitation

Having any kind of surgery can be exhausting for your body.

Physiotherapy can help effective post-surgery recovery by reducing pain and swelling, and gradually strengthening the affected part of your body.

Regular consultation with a physiotherapist will also help ensure that you’re not doing too much too soon.

Helping patients with neurological conditions

Neurological physiotherapy helps patients that are suffering from conditions such as strokes, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological conditions.

A trained physiotherapist will use a variety of different techniques to help recover muscle function and help patients improve their coordination and balance.

The importance of finding the right physiotherapist

Physiotherapy can’t halt or reverse the ageing process.

But it can help elderly patients live more comfortably, manage their conditions more effectively, and maintain their independence and sense of well-being.

For aged care physiotherapy to be as effective as possible, you want to find a physiotherapist that understands the challenges of ageing and has the expertise and experience to provide the best treatment possible.

At CK Physiotherapy, we have a team of licenced, chartered physiotherapists operating in the Ealing area with years of experience working with elderly patients.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how physiotherapy can help you in your senior years, get in touch with our friendly team for an online consultation.

One of our therapists will connect with you to arrange an initial assessment and work with you to create a personalised aged care treatment plan.

Further reading

5 Benefits Of Physiotherapy For The Elderly. Retrieved from:

Physiotherapy For The Elderly. Retrieved from:

Elder Care Services - The Importance of Physiotherapy. Retrieved from:

Physiotherapy and older people. Retrieved from:

Physiotherapy and Older People. Retrieved from:

10 Best Things About Growing Old. Retrieved from:

How to improve your circulation in older age. Retrieved from:

How to Improve Leg Circulation in the Elderly. Retrieved from:

Post Surgery Rehabilitation. Retrieved from:

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