6 Ways Physiotherapy Benefits Alzheimer’s Patients

older man walking down tree-lined path with walking stick

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Physiotherapy can treat a colorful assortment of health problems. People are often surprised to learn about the many illnesses physiotherapy successfully treats. However, just like any other type of therapy, physiotherapy doesn’t always address an illness’s root. In some cases, it does. In other cases, it effectively treats an illness’s symptoms and increases the quality of life of the patient. For example, physiotherapy is often included in an Alzheimer’s patient’s healthcare plan. It can’t cure Alzheimer’s disease or treat its primary cause, but it can certainly maximize an Alzheimer’s patient’s mobility, strength, and self-sufficiency.

Fast Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people around the globe. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.” Alzheimer’s symptoms ultimately limit a person’s independence. An amazing 15 percent of Canadians over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. At this time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. However, the disease can be treated with medications and other therapies. One of the best treatments for Alzheimer’s patients is physical activity, which is best administered by a physiotherapist through a physiotherapy program.

6 Ways Physiotherapy Benefits Alzheimer’s Patients

Physiotherapy helps Alzheimer’s patients by increasing their daily physical activity. During most physiotherapy sessions, physiotherapists prescribe and oversee specific, beneficial exercises for patients, including those with Alzheimer’s disease. Physiotherapy heightens an Alzheimer’s patient’s physical activity level, and, in turn, the patient becomes…

  1. Physically stronger
  2. Less vulnerable to falls
  3. More independent
  4. Less likely to have back problems and physical pain
  5. More likely to fully recover after surgery
  6. Less fatigued and gets better sleep

Explore these benefits more fully in Barbara Adams’ brochure Dementia and the Importance of Exercise. Barbara Adams, physiotherapist and Clinical Director of PhysioCare at Home said that the most important physiotherapy rule to live by is, “If you can’t stand up by yourself, you can’t live by yourself. Exercise keeps you independent!” She wrote, “(Exercise) improves safety with transfers from chairs and toilets and getting into and out of bed; body image and a sense of achievement; ability to do household tasks without help; behavior and mood; appetite; and physical function and cognition.” A physiotherapist can help you learn more about how this drug-free therapy benefits individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease.

Increase Awareness of the Benefits of Physiotherapy for Alzheimer’s Patients

Physiotherapy doesn’t just benefit individuals with chronic pain and injuries; it can also help Alzheimer’s patients in a myriad of ways. Increase awareness of the benefits of physiotherapy for Alzheimer’s patients by sharing this article with friends.

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