More about geriatric physiotherapy
Geriatrics does not only concern itself with afflictions related to for example problematic memory issues or dementia, but also with the whole: all (bodily and mental) afflictions and issues.
Recognising geriatric afflictions is a separate specialisation. This specialisation is meant to lead to optimal medical treatment for the elderly. Many elderly individuals have visited the geriatric in the hospital: the doctor specialised in geriatrics. A visit to this doctor often prevents a journey through various departments of the hospital, because this doctor has knowledge of all aspects and is able to connect multiple symptoms. If needed, this doctor does send you to a specialised department.
Geriatric physiotherapy is aimed at optimising posture and movement in everyday life.
To treat you as best as possible the geriatric physiotherapist has close contact with other medical disciplines. A great amount of contact and discussion occurs with doctors, caregivers and nurses, occupational therapists, and other carers (partners, family, neighbours, friends who help). The geriatric physiotherapist can also advise you speech therapy or dietetics.
The contact with informal carers is very important for the geriatric physiotherapist. Often at advanced age not only the elderly individual, but also the informals carers are concerned with the afflictions. The geriatric physiotherapist can give advice in response to questions from carers about handling the patient’s affliction; for example, how to handle somebody with difficulty coming out of bed, or a cue (counting, for example) which can be given to sufferers of Parkinson’s to aid them with walking. Hereto the geriatric physiotherapist holds close contact with the occupational therapist. For information about the occupational therapists we cooperate with, see Ergotherapie Gooi en Omstreken.
Individuals who, due to advanced age or an illness, have reduced bodily mobility often come into contact with a geriatric physiotherapist. The geriatric physiotherapist possesses broad knowledge and expertise when it comes to age-related afflictions and complex problematics. They have wide insight into the matter and have the skills necessary to optimally treat an elderly person.
The treatment in most cases consists of practice therapy, advice and the coaching of desired changes. This is aimed at remedying, lessening and preventing issues during everyday movement and preventing further decline. Besides this, advising and helping formal and informal carers and family members are also part of the work.
Due to age or illness balance problems can often arise. These can have multiple causes:
- The muscle condition may be declining
- Balance is also dependent on the functioning of the balance organ and the turning capability of the neck
- After a stroke, balance problems can occur, e.g. Half-sided paralysis or lessened sense of balance and lessened sense of the position of the body in space
- Parkinson’s can also cause balance problems; often this are related to a shambling walking pattern, the bent-forwards posture, propulsion (the point of mass of the body lies to far forward), festination (making steadily smaller steps when walking) and freezing (suddenly becoming ‘stuck’)
- Dizziness after rising from bed or a chair can also cause an increased risk of falling (orthostatic hypotension)
- Lastly, environmental factors, such as the use of good footwear instead of loose slippers and cables, thresholds, and rugs or mats in the home may affect the risk of falling.
The chance of a falling accident is increased in all examples above. Many of these factors can now be treated by geriatric physiotherapy and also occupational physiotherapy in order to decrease the risk of falling. Besides that, a walking aid such as a rollator can sometimes help, but incorrect usage may instead increase the risk of falling.
Dizziness and balance issues
Dizziness and balance issues can cause falling accidents and fear. It is therefore important to remedy these issues. Dizziness and balance issues can be described as: an uncontrollable sensation of moving or turning, feeling light in the head, feeling as if one is about to faint and/or a feeling of shakiness in the legs. These feelings are very bothersome and can sometimes even result in fearful experiences.
Dizziness and balance issues can have multiple causes. However, not every case has an immediate noticeable cause. This is especially the case with elderly individuals. See below a list of the types of dizziness:
- Turning dizziness
- Light feeling in the head
- Shaky feeling in the legs
- Balance problems
- Loss of way
For more information about one of these, you can contact us.
- Increased risk of falling
- Neurological issues
- Bodily issues
- Lessened balance
- Memory problems