Physiotherapy for Quality if life

ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter conducted an awareness session at the Retirement Expo organized by Dignity Foundation on the 22nd and 23rd of October, 2011 at Taj Deccan. A presentation on "Physiotherapy for quality of life" was given by Dr. Naveen Kumar Balne, Faculty for Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy faculty coordinator for Neurology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Panjagutta, Hyderabad.

Dr. Naveen explained that the average life expectancy at birth is 67 years. The age structure of world population is as follows: 1.8 billion people under the age of 15 years (27%), 4.4 billion people between the ages of 15-64 years (65%), 518 million people whose age is 65 years and above (8%). The margin between middle age and old age cannot be defined exactly because it is not the same in all societies. The age of 65 can be considered as the beginning of old age.

Physical exercise helps delay most of the bone related problems and hence it should be an integral part of everyone's life. However, for osteoporotic people, not all exercises are suitable and hence physiotherapy is advised for them due to the light nature of the exercises associated with it.

He told that one of the main goals of physical therapeutic procedures in the elderly is the restoration or maintenance of functional autonomy in activities of daily living. While the necessity for care and assistance rises dramatically with age, physical therapy can efficiently reduce these needs. For an optimal therapeutic approach, the therapist should take into account the particular characteristics of the ageing process as well as the predominant co- morbidities, which should be correctly assessed in order to integrate those contextual factors into the rehabilitation program. This is possible only with a good functioning team and teamwork. The team should therefore include physicians, nurses, physiotherapists as well as social workers and other professionals.

He also explained that regular physical activity is one of the most important things that one can do for one's own health. It can help control your weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some types of cancer. It can also strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your mental health and your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls and injuries, if you're an older adult and also increase your chances of living longer.

Finally he suggested that choose an exercise program that you enjoy and one which you can do easily. Start slowly and work up to more strenuous activity as you grow stronger. If possible, exercise with your spouse or a friend by fixing a scheduled time which is convenient for both of you. Make it a habit. Choose a time that does not coincide with your other activities. One can also join a class or exercise club.