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Physiotherapy: Working Hands on for Elderly in Residential Care

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Submitted By margaretmarie
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Physiotherapy: working hands on for elderly in residential care

A perception of good health inevitably lies in the eyes of the beholder (Strain, LA 1993). While some strive to maintain their bodies in peak physical condition, health management for the elderly in residential care is treated otherwise. Years of labour and strain is evident in their physical appearance, however it is beneath all this which is key to the vitality of their lives. Physiotherapists, also referred to as physical therapists, are one profession working with the elderly to maintain a state of wellbeing for everyday activity and participation. Through prevention, strengthening and mobility, these fundamental areas in elderly conditioning have more than superficial benefits. Nurses, as well as doctors, occupational therapists and specialists, are also crucial to this client group, ensuring the best possible health is maintained.

Physiotherapists are aptly equipped with the skills and knowledge to assess individual patients and prevent avoidable mishaps from occurring. Elderly people over the age of 65 are more likely to experience incidents such as falls due to arthritis, prescribed medications and general impairment (Tinetti, ME 2003). Exercise prescription programs can specifically target areas to achieve maximum range of movement and reduce these risk factors. Researchers at Yale School of Medicine found that falls among the elderly were reduced by 11 percent when clinicians incorporated management and education of fall prevention into their practices (Tinetti, ME et al. 2008). Another contributing element is a decrease in physical strength, also an area focussed on by physiotherapists for elderly health.

The elderly population are very rarely seen participating in strenuous activity, rather conserving their energy through minimal muscle movements. As asserted in a health report by…...

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