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Senior Health Spotlight: Manual Therapy for Seniors – Improving Mobility and Quality of Life

June 2024


What Happens When We Age?

 

As our bodies age, our joints can become less flexible, our muscles can lose their elasticity, and our bones can become weaker. With these changes, you may feel stiffer, feel joint pain, and/or lose mobility. An aspect of senior care which can be overlooked is manual care and physical therapy. The care that chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, and osteopaths can give to seniors can increase mobility, give pain relief, and can improve quality of life.

 

Movement Is Medicine

 

Having a routine of daily exercise can slow down the process of aging and give you many more years of mobility. Exercise does not have to look like weightlifting or running a marathon. Here are some easy ways you can increase activity in your daily life:

  • Swimming or Aqua Fit

  • Daily walk

  • Tai Chi

  • Yoga

  • Stretching routine

 

Exercise and movement can be much more fun if you are doing it with others. Try to find community walking groups or bring a friend or family, if possible, to make daily movement a more enjoyable experience. Many local community centres have seniors exercise classes and walking groups already in place for you to join. 

 

Seniors And Fall Risk

 

A major risk to an older adult’s health is having a fall. When older adults have decreased muscle strength and balance, a slip can become a major threat to a senior’s wellbeing and safety.

 

Manual therapists have extensive experience in:

  • Fall prevention

  • Educating patients about proper usage of assisted devices

  • Home and living ergonomics – this can be used to decrease the tripping hazards within the home

  • Balance and gait training – therapists can help you increase your muscle strength and endurance to decrease frequency and severity of falls

 

Here is a list of household items that can become hazardous that exist in most peoples’ homes:

  • Throw rugs

  • Loose carpets

  • Electrical cords in the walkways

  • Clutter

  • Slippery floors

  • Poor lighting

  • High bathtub rims

  • Lack of handrails, or grab bars

 

What To Do After A Fall

 


The Role Of The Manual Therapist

 

When navigating the care of an older individual, it can sometimes be challenging to manage. Although manual therapists in Ontario do not offer medication management, they can offer much more that can help to increase the quality of life of our senior population.


They can help with:

  • Managing arthritis pain

  • Pre- and post- operative care (ie. Managing hip and knee replacements)

  • Improving mobility

  • Pain relief

  • Decreasing disability

  • Enhancing circulation

  • Stress reduction

  • Social interaction

 

If you or a loved one may be at risk of a fall, in pain, or in need of some extra support navigating the health care system, our manual care therapists would be happy to help. Give us a call at (416) 291 0070 or book a free consultation on our website HERE.



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