As a branch of medicine that has a wide scope, physiotherapy offers a lot of benefits to the general public no matter what condition a patient presents. And just recently, some places around the world have even extended the practice, allowing physiotherapists to perform other services, such as ordering diagnostic ultrasounds, lab tests, and X-rays, to ensure their patients gain access to the treatments that they need. Broadly speaking, this profession addresses orthopaedic, cardiopulmonary, and neurological issues in children and adults alike.
However, one primary purpose of physiotherapy is caring for the geriatric population. As people age and start to experience degenerative health conditions, their ability to move freely could also diminish. That is why physiotherapists are there—they help make the day-to-day activities of older people a lot easier. So, in what specific ways can physiotherapy help your aging loved one?
1. It helps them become as active and independent as possible.
Physiotherapy places your aging loved one under the care of someone who is adept at identifying the physical factors that prevent them from being active and independent. During each session, they will learn some ways to overcome these challenges and be able to interact with other people around as normally as possible.
2. It reduces fall risks.
Some of the most common accidents that can happen to your elderly are slips and falls, which can cause hip and leg injuries. Now, the best ways to avoid these mishaps is improving muscle strength and attaining better balance. These are things that they can develop through regular physiotherapy sessions.
3. It allows them to exercise safely.
Exercise is important for your aging loved one, but it could also put them at harm’s way. This is especially true when they already have a serious health condition, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, or obesity. Nonetheless, they can still exercise under the careful direction of a physiotherapist. They can still perform walking and other low-intensity exercises without worrying about injuries or symptoms to occur.
4. It helps relieve pain.
Feelings of pain in the back and joints are common in the older population, and they are caused by tight and hardened muscles, stiff joints, and limited blood flow. With physiotherapy, your loved one’s back, neck, and joints will be exercised on a regular basis. This will relax the muscles, relieve tension, make the joints more flexible, and improve blood circulation, which work well in reducing pain.
5. It speeds up recovery.
In case your elderly loved one is being treated for a certain condition or has recently undergone a surgery, physiotherapy can help them recover fast. The exercises that come with each session will cause tissues to regenerate faster and blood to circulate better. Basically, these improved processes will make healing quicker.
6. It is non-invasive and does not need pharmaceutical applications.
When it comes to non-invasive techniques in caring for the elderly, physiotherapy is one of the best that your loved one can have. Typically, it does not put them at certain risks—which surgical procedures can pose to the elderly—when helping them regain strength and flexibility. Aside from this, it does not require pain medication, which could also interfere with other prescription drugs they might be taking.
7. It boosts their mental health.
Apart from the physical aspect, physiotherapy is also effective in helping your elderly maintain mental wellness. In essence, it helps release endorphins, which will give them a feeling of positivity even though they might be having difficulties in dealing with the negative effects of aging.
8. It serves as way for them to socialize.
During each physiotherapy session, your loved one will work one-on-one with their physiotherapist. This is a good way to achieve their health goals, while allowing them to socialize at the same time.
While private home care and other aged care services offer great benefits to your aging loved one, physiotherapy can definitely help them in many ways as well. In fact, there are hundreds of age-related issues that this type of healthcare can prevent, manage, or treat, which is why it is often part of the comprehensive wellness programs for members of the geriatric population. Of course, it will not stop aging, but it can reduce its impact on the way your elderly leads their life.