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A Guide on Physio for the Elderly

Physiotherapy is a medical intervention that utilises mechanical force and movements to alleviate pain and promote healing. Among older adults, physiotherapy may be employed to manage diseases or age-related conditions. Below are some of the reasons an elderly person may require physio.

  1. Physiotherapy helps in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, which disrupts breathing among older adults. Its primary objective is to improve the individual's breathing ability.
  2. Older people who are suffering from diseases of the nervous system such as Parkinson's disease can use physiotherapy to restore mobility of body parts.
  3. Physio is used to improve walking ability, consequently reducing the risk of falls.
  4. Physio helps in managing diabetes. Programs are designed to burn calories, lower blood pressure and improve insulin management.
  5. Physiotherapy helps in the management of neck and back pain, which are common among older adults.
  6. Older people who have arthritis immensely benefit from physio, as it helps alleviate pain in affected body parts.

If you take care of an aged person who you think would benefit from physiotherapy, below are tips on how to plan a physio program.

Visit a physiotherapist.

Ask your doctor to refer you to a physiotherapist who will assess the need for physio. The primary advantage of visiting the physiotherapist is that he or she will structure the program depending on the person's needs. For instance, if the person has breathing problems, physio exercises will aim to manage the condition.

Involve the person.

Successful physio among the elderly is dependent on collaboration between the patient, family members and the physiotherapist. Do not force the program on the person without seeking their consent or opinion. Inform the person of the benefits of the intervention and how it will improve their lifestyle.

Program planning.

Physio is structured on attaining a specific goal within a particular period. Together with the doctor and your loved one, decide on the short-term goals and long-term goals of the program. Also ask your loved one about which exercises he or she is comfortable with and when they would like to do the exercises.

Motivate your loved one.

Some physio exercises are excruciating, and you may find that your loved one does not feel the need to perform them. It is up to you to convince them that the exercise is indeed beneficial. Help them with doing some of the exercises and applaud them after every session.

When planning physio for an elderly individual, engage a physiotherapist, involve your loved one, design a realistic program and motivate your loved one to abide by the program.