As the population increases in the UK, more and more people are inevitably living longer and it is predicted that those over the age of 65 in the UK will increase by 250% by 2035. Physiotherapy jobs provider, Sanctuary Health, recently reported on the impact of the ‘ageing time bomb’ on the NHS which is already struggling with a £30 billion funding gap and shortage of hospital beds – of which it needs an extra 6.2 million by 2022.
These incredible statistics invite a host of potential problems for the NHS – with little to no funding for hospitals, and an expected extra 6.2 million hospital beds needed by 2022, is it any wonder that the NHS and other independent health companies are looking for alternatives to help the ageing population? Physiotherapy could well be the answer to keeping our growing population healthy and decreasing the strain on the NHS.
Physiotherapists are trained experts who focus on your individual physical care and needs. Physio doesn’t necessarily mean being stretched and bent in ways you never thought your body could cope with, it can mean a number of helpful techniques, which can be learned and practiced every day. Physiotherapy works to prevent ill health by keeping your body active and independent.
The increase in population could also mean a growing demand for physiotherapists in the health sector and an increase in the number of physiotherapy jobs available in this field. Physiotherapy has been scientifically proven to improve postural control and lower limb strength in senior women and is a positive step towards preventing the impending crisis predicted by the NHS. This preventative method can be presented to elderly patients through easy to follow exercises and regimes, and if implemented early enough, can be very effective in preventing patients arriving at strained NHS resources such as A&E.
Here are some of the types of physiotherapy that patients are taught and encouraged to perform to ensure they stay healthy in old age:
- Exercises to promote strong bones
- Teaching you how to get up after a fall
- Exercises to regain movement to use an arm or leg after breaking a bone
- Help you to manage new conditions that come with old age, including arthritis, diabetes and Parkinson’s.
- Help you to recover from a stroke or heart attack
Physiotherapy can also help with common conditions that occur in old age such as:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Falls and fractures
High blood pressure
Physiotherapy can help to prevent these conditions as well as alleviate them.
*This is a collaborative post.