As our parents age, their bodies undergo changes such as reduced bone density, reduced muscle strength, increased body fat, poorer coordination and stiffer joints. These physical changes reduce their mobility, and in turn, affect their ability to live independently. Many people think that since physical deterioration is an inevitable part of ageing, they are not proactive in taking steps to reduce its impact. However, according to Singapore health minister Gan Kim Yong, physiotherapists play a key role in keeping the elderly healthy.
Aside from treating physical injuries and diseases through, physiotherapy also plays an important role in fall prevention. Research has shown that targeted exercise programmes, which are conducted during physiotherapy, reduce the rate of falling by 22 – 27% and the risk of falling by 17 – 35%.
In this 3-part guide, we will feature how physiotherapy reduces the impact of physical deterioration in the elderly in these different ways:
A. Physiotherapy for Arthritis (Pain Relief Therapy)
Identifies the main causes of pain
Provides advisory on pain management
Massage and mobilisation in various gradations to relieve pain
B. Physiotherapy for Stroke
Provides advice and guidelines for post-stroke recovery
Targeted exercise to enhance mobility
C. Physiotherapy for Fall Prevention
Identifies the main causes of falls
Provides a plan to address physical hazards in the home environment to reduce the likelihood of falls