Are you or do you know someone over the age of 65? Do you find your body isn’t as responsive as it used to be? As we age, our bodies tend to become less active and stiff. Geriatric Physical therapy can be extremely effective in improving strength, mobility, and endurance among older adults.
Elderly adults experience a number of challenges, decrease in muscle strength, coordination, and reaction timing, and have a lower tolerance for physical activity.
Geriatric physical therapy can help tackle your specific needs and goals and help you lead a happy and encumbrance-free life.
What Is Geriatric Physical Therapy?
Geriatric physical therapy is a form of physiotherapy that aims to help seniors or elderly adults with their specific issues and challenges. Geriatric physical therapy is a must for older adults to strengthen their muscles and coordination. Consequently, it will help with carrying out everyday tasks, such as walking, climbing stairs, cooking, cleaning etc. Regular sessions of geriatric physical therapy can also help prevent other age- related muscular-skeletal degenerative conditions from setting in, such as muscle atrophy.
Geriatric physical therapy varies from other types of physiotherapy as it is more geared towards building strength, stamina and reduce weakness. It focuses on prevention of muscle deterioration and reduces the risks of slips and falls. Geriatric physiotherapy is as an umbrella term, used to describe treatment for a broad range of issues that people tend to face as they age.
How can Geriatric physical therapy help me?
The benefits of geriatric physical therapy include reduction of morbidity rates and the risk of developing chronic diseases. Some benefits to specific conditions effecting older adults are listed below:
1.Osteoporosis: This condition effects the joints that connect bones within the body and are important to provide support during movements. If osteoporosis is left untreated for an extended time, it can restrict mobility and lead to weakness or inability to perform regular activities. Geriatric physiotherapy is the best treatment to help the symptoms of osteoporosis.
2.Joint Swelling and Pain: is one of the most common issues faced by adults after a certain age. This condition causes degenerative changes that leads to poor muscle tone, stiff joints etc. Geriatric physiotherapy can help in bringing back the physical strength and, thereby improving your quality of life.
3.Balance and gait disorders: Walking and Balance can be impaired due to several age-related conditions. Some of them include numbness in feet and legs, eye-sight problems, blood circulation problems and side effects of medications. Geriatric physical therapy includes balance exercises to help improve the functions of muscles & bones.
4.Neurological disorders: Some of the common causes of neurological disorders are Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, thyroid disease, depression, lack of sleep, undiagnosed diabetes, and medication side effects. Geriatric physiotherapy can help in ways to manage these disorders and improve circulation and hormone stabilization.
5.Incontinence: Incontinence is a condition of inability to maintain bladder control. In other words, it is the loss of reflexes that are required for the bladder to hold or pass urine. Geriatric physiotherapy can improve incontinence and help patients resume back to their normal state.
Geriatric physiotherapy Tips for Older Adult
With age comes the challenges of not knowing what’s safe and what’s not safe, and how much your body is capable of. This is magnified in case of the presence of a pre-existing condition, such as a heart attack or heart disease.
Geriatric physical therapy generally consists of a variety of exercises that improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance to aid in activities and movements and prevent overall deconditioning. Exercises typically include:
1.Stretches and mobility improvement: Full body stretches, especially for the lower back, hamstrings, and hip flexors, to promote good mobility and joint alignment and to prevent tight muscles or stiff joints from interfering with proper muscle activation
2.Endurance training: To keep the heart and lungs good condition and to improve circulation using cardiovascular equipment like treadmills and stationary bikes under guidance is recommended.
3.Strengthening exercises: These includes body weight exercises to help improve your mobility. It is required for the muscles in the thighs and buttocks to maintain strength. Exercises include such as sit-to-stands, squats, step-ups, leg lifts, and bridges
4.Balance exercises: These exercises help you maintain your stability when standing, walking, and changing directions, including static balance exercises on flat and uneven surfaces, weight-shifting exercises, marching, and tandem walking heel to toe
Geriatric Physical Therapy can improve your quality of life
At Caring Hands Physiotherapy, we want to help patients reclaim their independence and improve their quality of life. If you believe you or a loved one could benefit from geriatric physical therapy treatments, give us a call today for a free consultation! We’ll be more than happy to get you started on the path toward better overall health and wellness.