HOW PHYSIOTHERAPY CAN HELP
After periods of prolonged hospitalization it is common for older adults to experience a decline in their functional performance. Many patients are discharged from acute care settings below their prior level of function and 1 in 12 Canadians is readmitted within 30 days.
What is the cause?
There are many reasons that contribute to the decline in function older adults acquire while hospitalized. Periods of prolonged immobility including bed rest and inactivity result in decreased muscle strength, loss of muscle mass, decline in cognitive function and loss of protein synthesis. While hospitalized, the majority of people spend their time sedentary. The opportunity for movement during the day from performance of our normal activities of daily living (ADLs) is reduced or eliminated. Furthermore, when discharged many adults are unable to perform 1 or more of their ADLs which results in a loss of independence, an increased burden on caregivers, and reduced quality of life.
What is the treatment?
Physiotherapy can help provide a stress-free transition from hospital to home and return older adults to their prior level of function. Depending on the individual's impairments and goals, physiotherapy treatment for post-hospital syndrome can include:
Home exercise program design and resistance training
Balance and core stability exercises
Gait training and practice of safe transfer techniques
Fall risk assessment and prevention
Range of motion exercises
Provision of mobility aids and equipment
Providing manual treatments and therapeutic modalities according to your needs
Communicating with your support network to optimize your care plan