The longer we can encourage our elderly parents to remain physically active, the longer they will benefit from an independent lifestyle. There is no way of getting away from the fact that as we get older certain things begin to happen to our bodies. We lose bone density and muscle strength, our levels of body fat increase, our coordination becomes poorer and our joints begin to stiffen.
Having said that, we do have a certain amount of control over the rate at which we experience this decline and the way in which it interferes (or not) in our day-to-day lives. In fact, medical research suggests that at least half of the age-related changes to muscles, bones and joints are caused by disuse, which is why exercise is so important.
Physiotherapists are trained to carefully and safely guide elderly patients through a series of exercises designed to help them with their specific needs. Being able to exercise at home between physiotherapy sessions gives elderly patients the confidence they need to take matters into their own hands and restores a little of that independent feeling that’s so important to staying young and full of life.
Physiotherapy helps the senior citizens improve cardiovascular circulation by strengthening cardiac output and decreasing blood pressure. This, in turn, helps to protect them from developing cardiovascular diseases and minimises the threat of congestive heart failure.
On a final note, most elder citizens are concerned about not feeling as quick and steady on their feet as they used to and of finding it difficult to cope with stairs. As muscles weaken, coordination depletes and joints stiffen, our elderly relatives are at a greater risk of experiencing a fall that could lead to a painful fracture and months of recovery. Physiotherapy can ensure a full and effective recovery from most types of accidents by gradually helping patients regain the physical strength and mobility they once had. The exercises they learn to practice in each session can also go a long way to preventing other falls and accidents in the future.
We at Porosh have observed that due to the Covid scare a lot of senior citizens have discontinued physiotherapy sessions much to their detriment. It is high time that they jettison the apprehension of getting infected by the virus by adopting basic precautionary measures.
(Adapted from www.myphysiosa.com.au)