Geriatric physical therapy covers a wide area of issues concerning people as they go through normal adult ageing but is usually focused on the older adult. There are many conditions that affect many people as they grow older and include but are not limited to the following: arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip and joint replacement, balance disorders, incontinence, etc. Geriatric physical therapists specialize in providing therapy for such conditions in older adults.
How It Benefits?
As you get older, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions — make falls more likely. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Falls in the elderly are considered one of the most serious and expensive public health problems in terms of morbidity, mortality, and enormous costs to health and social services.
2. General Fitness & Muscle Strengthening Programme
Studies have shown that maintaining regular physical activity can help prevent many common diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Exercise improves overall immune function, which is important for seniors as their immune systems are often compromised. Even light exercise, such as walking, can be a powerful tool for preventable disease management.
3. Improved Mental Health
The mental health benefits of exercise are nearly endless. Exercise produces endorphins (the “feel-good” hormone), which act as a stress reliever and leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. In addition, exercise has been linked to improving sleep, which is especially important for older adults who often suffer from insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns.
4. Social Engagement
Whether you join a walking group, go to group fitness classes or visit a gardening club, exercise can be made into a fun social event. Maintaining strong social ties is important for ageing adults to feel a sense of purpose and avoid feelings of loneliness or depression. The key is to find a form of exercise you love, and it will never feel like a chore again.
5. Urinary Incontinence Programs
Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is leakage of urine at inappropriate times, due to loss of control of the bladder. When pelvic floor muscles weaken, the internal organs are not fully supported and controlling the release of urine becomes difficult and incontinence may occur.
Behaviour modifications, physical therapy, exercises, lifestyle changes and medicines are typically tried first, before trying other treatments such as medical devices or surgery. The use of EMG Biofeedback for urinary incontinence in male or female patients due to neurological or non-neurological causes is very effective.