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People often ask how can an Alzheimers patient benefit from physiotherapy if the patient can’t even recognise their own family. Physiotherapy, however, can be of a great benefit to the person who has dementia, as well as their family and caregivers at various stages. The main reason for this is that rehabilitation services can help the dementia patient to be as functional as possible for as long as possible.
Physiotherapy can benefit an Alzheimer’s patient in a number of ways. Some of the treatments that we offer to Alzheimer’s patients here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy include; balance therapy, therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, and assistance with activities of daily living.
Physiotherapy can help to maintain the Alzheimers patient’s independence and dignity as much as possible. A physiotherapist can design a home exercise programme and work closely with family members to care for the Alzheimers patient.
Alzheimer’s patients are at a greater risk of falls and mobility problems due to muscular weakness, history of falls, gait, balance deficits and cognitive impairment.
The main focus of physiotherapy with dementia care is to improve balance, mobility, and muscle strength, whilst also providing pain management for the patient.
People with Alzheimers don’t usually lose their ability to walk until the late stages of the disease, when they begin to lose their balance and they may develop coordination problems, which often lead to walking difficulties. A physiotherapist can help by assessing a patient’s ability to walk safely, their risk of falls, and other functional tasks.
A chartered physiotherapist can also care for the patient’s wounds. The therapist will evaluate and examine the wound and then select treatments that can benefit the patient. These treatments may include; improvements to the patient’s bed or seat, strengthening exercises, wound care, and liaising with other health care providers.