Secrets of physiotherapy group exercises for the elderly

Group exercise therapy can maximize the independence level of the elderly, prevent falls and maintain overall physical functioning.


As our age increases, it is common to experience decrease in mental and physical abilities (Rashid and Tahir, 2015; Ong et al., 2009). This may cause family members or children of some elderly to feel distress being responsible to take care of their aging parents or grandparents.


Group exercise is known as a low intensity or low level exercises (Tse, Wong and Lee, 2015; Au-Yeung et al., 2002). A systematic review study showed elderly with different levels of abilities can improve their functional performance by regular exercise training (Chin A Paw, van Uffelen, Riphagen and van Mechelen, 2008).


It is conducted by certified physiotherapist, suitable for elderly who are having activity limitations which may be acute or chronic (Robinson et al., 2014). Group exercise also improves flexibility, limbs muscle strength, or decrease depressive symptoms by low-intensity exercises (Tse, Wong and Lee, 2015).


Group therapy conducted by physiotherapist can be multi-component exercise intervention inclusive of strength, endurance and balance training. This can improve elderly’s balance and strength performances, which help in controlling the rate of falls among elderly (Cadore, Rodríguez-Mañas, Sinclair and Izquierdo, 2013).


Therefore, group exercise therapy can maximize the independence level of the elderly (Simonsick et al., 2005), prevent falls and maintain overall physical functioning (Lord et al., 2003).

References:

Au-Yeung, S., Ho, H., Lai, J., Lau, R., Wong, A. and Lau, S., 2002. Did Mobility and Balance of Residents Living in Private Old Age Homes Improve after a Mobility Exercise Programme? A Pilot Study. Hong Kong Physiotherapy Journal, 20(1), pp.16-21.

Cadore, E., Rodríguez-Mañas, L., Sinclair, A. and Izquierdo, M., 2013. Effects of Different Exercise Interventions on Risk of Falls, Gait Ability, and Balance in Physically Frail Older Adults: A Systematic Review. Rejuvenation Research, 16(2), pp.105-114.

Chin A Paw, M., van Uffelen, J., Riphagen, I. and van Mechelen, W., 2008. The Functional Effects of Physical Exercise Training in Frail Older People. Sports Medicine, [online] 38(9), pp.781-793. Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18712944>.

Written by: Tay Zen Zuie

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