As many of our loved ones age, more and more families have to make the hard decision of whether a care home would be a suitable place for them.
Physiotherapy plays a vital role in elderly care. Not only can it prevent disease and disability, but also helps treat current conditions and can help identify any issues that are making a large impact on their everyday life. Taking even tiny steps to improve these issues can help them lead a more independent life.
We see many patients in a care home setting, and we will endeavour to work alongside the staff, social workers and/or carers. Relatives often find this an anxious time, as they feel on the outside of the treatment plan for their loved one, so we will always talk and discuss our sessions and concerns with the family before and after a visit. At Home Physio Group, our highly skilled physiotherapists can visit them in their own environment, which takes away the stress and time of getting them to a hospital or clinic or having to go to an unfamiliar place that they do not feel comfortable in.
What to expect from the first visit?
The elderly have daily challenges, and some find it hard to communicate well, so we will always suggest that a loved one is present for the initial assessment if possible. This can help alleviate any communication issues the patient may have and make them feel more at ease for their first session. If this is not possible, we will talk to the care home, and ensure that a member of staff can be present when we arrive.
Our physiotherapists will do a full assessment of the patient which will last for 60 minutes. They will go through their medical history and listen to any concerns they may have. They will assess their mobility, strength, balance, and posture too. In the assessment they will cover their general health, any conditions that they are experiencing at present, and the goals that they want to achieve.
Once this assessment is completed a tailored programme will be devised that is both easy and safe for them to continue in the care home, either by themselves, with loved ones, or with their carer.
Exercise based treatments can include strengthening exercises, flexibility work, functional activities, trying to get out of a chair/bed, climbing steps, and exercises to help relieve pain.
If they are mobile, advice can be given on their gait and balance, and corrections can be made, especially is they are using walking aids. It is essential that these aids, such as walking sticks, frames, crutches are used correctly to prevent any falls occurring unnecessarily.
Activities for elderly residents in care homes
There are many benefits for the elderly to engage in some physical activity. It helps with their muscle tone, balance, reduced blood pressure, weight loss and posture. It also will help their mindset and helps to reduce depression and anxieties.
If they are able to do gentle stretching and strengthening exercises a few times per week, it will keep them mentally and physically strong and allows them to be as independent as they can.
If you or a loved one would like to talk to us about getting some physiotherapy in a care home, please call us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively, please fill out our contact sheet, and we will get back to you.