Geriatric Physiotherapy is a branch of health care system that deals with elderly care .“What defines this group is the frequent presence of multiple pathology and the atypical way in which illness can present with confusion, falls and loss of mobility and day-to-day functioning”.
India is in a phase of demographic transition. By 2021, the elderly in the country will number 143 million, a report from Helpage india states. Presently, the elderly in divided into three categories: the young old (60-70) the middle-aged old (70-80) and the oldest old (80 plus).The increase in life expectancy over the years has resulted in an increase in the population of the elderly. While the overall population of India will grow by 40% between 2006 and 2050, the population of those aged 60 and above will increase by 270%.current trends in demographics coupled with rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes have led to an emergence of a host of problems faced by the elderly in India.societal modernization has brought in its wake a breakdown in the framework of family support, economic insecurity, social isolation, and elderly abuse leading to a host of physical and psychological illnesses.
The geriatric population is unique in its wide variation from individual to individual in the effects of both aging and disease processes.(Effects of aging on organ systems) At Progressive Care,we administer a comprehensive and effective Physiotherapy program to make the quality of life better for the patients belonging to this complex group.
A comprehensive geriatric assessment, is often helpful before the initiation of a physical therapy program to assist with setting realistic goals with each patient.
Functional independence is the ultimate goal of physical therapy intervention. This is particularly important in geriatric care, because the presence of acute as well as chronic illness in elderly individuals is often associated with loss of day-to-day function.
- To improve or maintain ROM (Range of Motion)of different joints. For example, a geriatric patient should have enough ROM at shoulder to dress up or to reach dishes in the cupboard.
- To improve or maintain strength and endurance of muscles. For example, the patient should have sufficient muscle strength to lift a jug of milk, to make a bed, to make chapatti or to wash clothes.
- To improve or maintain cardiovascular endurance so that a geriatric patient is able to do strenuous activities such as fast walk, cycling or swimming.
- To improve or maintain ambulatory status of a patient so that a patient can go to toilet or for shopping independently.
- To relieve pain. It has been estimated that over 85 percent of older adults have at least one chronic disease that may give rise to the feeling of discomfort or pain.Acute pain following surgery is also becoming quite common in geriatric patients. The most common therapeutic interventions to relieve pain are exercise, orthotics, heat and cold modalities; and electrical stimulating currents.
- To Prevent Falls
- Range-of-motion exercise
- Stretching exercise
- Mobilization exercise
- Strengthening exercise
- Aerobic exercises
- Gait training
- Electrotherapeutic modalities
- Common conditions treated
- Balance and coordination
- Cardiac Conditioning
- Cognitive impairments and dementia
- Frailty/ Deconditioning
- Frequent falls
- Joint Replacement
- Neurological impairments(Stroke,
- Parkinsons Disease
- Walking difficulty
Exercise studies indicate a high degree of trainability among older men and women with adaptations similar to younger individuals. Aerobic- or endurance-type exercise can help to maintain and improve various aspects of cardiopulmonary function. Also, resistance exercise helps offset the loss in bone mass, muscle mass and muscle strength typically associated with aging(effects of aging vs exercise). Together, these exercise adaptations greatly improve functional capacity of older men and women, thereby improve their quality of life and extend an independent living
“All parts of the body which have a function, if used in moderation and exercised in labours in which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy, well-developed and age more slowly. But if unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly. “-