Physical exercise during old age is highly recommended to maintain a good quality of life. Carrying out sports and rehabilitation carries high benefits for the person’s habits and health. For this reason, the role of physical therapists is essential to be able to adapt physical exercise to the capacities of each patient.
With our rehabilitation therapy service, we want to provide the elderly with a preventive, corrective, or maintenance program where the primary objective is the functional independence of people. Also, it will help to relieve pain, increasing muscle strength and coordination, maintaining and improving joint width, as well as to evaluate and improve gait and stability.
The most common cause of loss of functional abilities in the older person is inactivity.
There are numerous causes for immobilization in an older person:
• An illness that leaves you in bed for days
• Hip fracture (or others)
• Peripheral vascular accident
Why geriatric rehabilitation therapy and not just exercise?
Simple. Due to the characteristics and needs of the older adult population, exercise programs must be prepared and guided by professionals in physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Carrying out a prior functional evaluation to determine the capacities of each individual and to implement a therapy plan. Physically adapted to personal needs.
These are the general principles of rehabilitation in the elderly, should be taken as a general measure. And then the most recommended is to apply the specific techniques corresponding to the specific process in which the patient is:
1. Assess, maintain and/or increase maximum joint mobility
2. Maintain or improve independence in Activities of Daily Living.
3. Assess, maintain or increase muscle strength
4. Achieve a good gait and balanced pattern.
5. Assess posture and apply key exercises.
In general, lack of exercise is a constant problem in older adults, this may be due to:
• The comforts of modern life
• Lack of information
• Arbitrary age barriers for many activities
• The effect of chronic diseases
• Overprotection of family or other treating professionals
Therefore, supervised and adequate exercise is a therapeutic necessity for older adults. Directed exercises are not contraindicated in any case, being benefits even in patients with heart problems such as coronary insufficiency and peripheral vascular disease.