Physiotherapy for Older People

Older people are commonly associated with frailty. Frailty is a complex state of increased vulnerability to adverse health conditions. One of the few ways to influence frailty in older adults is through exercise. However, due to the limited strength and mobility an elderly has, it is important that an exercise program is well-structured and should only be constructed by a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist.

Common Problems in Older People


Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in older people. This condition limits their ability to walk, climb stairs, bend, kneel, or take part in social activities. For working seniors, arthritis can make the daily routine more challenging. The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, occurs in older people because it is usually the outcome of long years of wear and tear on the joints. Most often, it is led by normal physical activity or from past injuries.


Older people tend to urinate even before they reach the toilet. Urge incontinence, which is the most common diagnosis, is caused by involuntary contractions of the bladder. An overactive bladder can be influenced by strokes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or injuries. The bladder muscles of older people may be so weak that they have difficulty holding their urine.


A stroke occurs when blood circulation to the brain fails. As a result, brain cells die from decreased blood flow and the resulting lack of oxygen. The chance of having a stroke approximately doubles for each decade of life after age 55. Experts speculate the increase may be due to a rise of risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol.


Balance disorders are one reason older people fall. As people get older, many of them experience problems with their sense of balance. They feel dizzy or unsteady, or as if their surroundings were moving. This is often caused by problems of the inner ear. Fall-related injuries such as hip fracture can leave a serious impact on a life on an elderly. A fall can bring difficulties to your activities or make it hard to live independently.

Importance of Exercise

Lack of physical activity contributes to many non-communicable diseases common in adults such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, and cancer. With poor dietary habits, lack of exercise also contributes to weight problems and the subsequent health problems of joint instability, pain, disability, and mobility.

A regular exercise and aerobic fitness can reduce risk of mortality and morbidity. They also reduce disease and disability, and improve quality of life. Incorporating cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises maintain and promote healthy lifestyle.

Benefit of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy provides quality therapy for many conditions affecting older people, from Alzheimer’s to urinary incontinence. A physiotherapist can help restore or improve strength, range of motion, flexibility, coordination, and endurance, as well as reduce pain. Another important role is to retrain the patient to perform daily tasks. A couple of ultimate benefits of physiotherapy is to become independent in your own home and improve your capability to go out and about.

Are you in need of help of a Perth physiotherapist? Call us today at 9272 7359!