PHYSIOTHERAPY AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY: HELPING CANADIAN SENIORS
Thanks to the miracles of medical science, people are now living longer than ever before. Unfortunately, there remains no cure for aging. Yes, Canadians often now live into their 80s, but our bodies still gradually disintegrate. What good is a long life if you are immobile and unable to enjoy yourself?
Physiotherapists and occupational therapists use their specialized training to help our elderly citizens fight against the ravages of age and live normal, productive lives for as long as possible.
HELPING OUR BODIES
As we age, the changes in our bodies compromise flexibility and mobility. Decreased activity, brought about by low energy levels, is also problematic. Furthermore, our bone density decreases, while our body fat levels increase. These conditions cause seniors to spend less time exercising, reducing both their physical condition and their level of independence.
Physiotherapists work with their clients to reduce these negative impacts. The therapist assesses the client in order to determine the areas in which they are strong and the ones that need particular attention. The physio and the client then decide on a series of goals to aim for and a time frame in which to attain them.
By adopting a regimen of safe exercises created specifically for them, seniors improve their balance, coordination, flexibility, motor control, and strength. These improvements, and the extra physical activity that result, can also help to improve the client’s cognitive functions, providing a further benefit.
Physio also helps to alleviate chronic pain. This is a far more beneficial solution than relying on painkiller medications, which are often addictive and can cause damage to organs like the liver and kidneys. In addition to exercise, these techniques can also include massage therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, TENS (transcutaneous electrical stimulation), ultrasound, and hot/cold treatments.
STAY IN YOUR OWN HOME
It can be a terrible blow for a senior to reach the point where it is no longer safe to live in their decades-long home. Unfortunately, this is a reality that many of us will eventually face. Fortunately, visits from an occupational therapist can help to keep us safe in the home we know and love.
An occupational therapist will analyze a living space and recommend changes that help clients facing mobility issues. This decreases the possibility of falls or other serious injuries. They also consider the client’s physical condition when suggesting how certain alterations in our daily schedules can help to make regular activities less of a challenge.
In addition to helping patients stay in their preferred environment, this is also a viable alternative to counteract the shortage of beds in long term care homes, which is reaching a crisis point in some provinces.
LET'S GET STARTED
triOS College’s Physiotherapy Assistant and Occupational Therapy Assistant program provides students with both classroom instruction and a 500-hour fieldwork placement. This valuable combination prepares them for entry-level positions in hospitals, private rehabilitation clinics, rehabilitation centres, long-term care facilities, and retirement homes. Contact triOS today for more information on the program and when the next round of classes will be starting at your local campus.PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSISTANT AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT