Celebrating later life fitness on National Older Persons’ Day
Based in the North West, Physiofit has an experienced team of later life specialist physiotherapists, who offer treatments to patients in their own home or their care home. The team is passionate about supporting older people to be the very best they can be whatever their age. As part of their Older Persons' Day celebrations on 1 October, Physiofit shared some of their clients' experiences.
With the correct support and training, people can maintain their movement and independence for much longer. Physiofit was established in 1992 with the aim of providing excellence in physiotherapy care where each patient is treated as a unique individual and where they continually exceed expectations.
Physiofit’s Later Life team feels privileged to work with some amazing older people in the community.
Audrey’s fit as a fiddle
Audrey is usually very quietly spoken- until she starts to sing! Audrey has Parkinsons Disease (PD) and like many others with PD, when it comes to moving, she gets timing assistance from the beat. She will use anything from rap music to Val Doonican during therapy sessions!
She has always had a love of music and relaxes with Katherine Jenkins and Russell Watson playing in the background. Her favourite afternoon is going to the inspirational Vibrant Choir with her daughter. This is an Altrincham-based choir made up of people living with dementia, Parkinson's, stroke survivors and their carers.
Physiofit is excited about the recent research that shows how new therapy approaches are positively influencing PD’s progression. They have PD Warrior trained therapists and are in the process of starting a pro-active therapy class. Their Nordic Walking groups are a great way for ensuring good trunk mobility and an all over body workout.
Move it like Monica
Monica is in her 90s and has lived in the Wilmslow area for over 40 years. Formerly a well-respected chemist Monica has always been an advocate for exercise and healthy living.
Monica has always enjoyed walking and yoga classes. She shows why fitness is important in all stages of life. Following a prolonged period of illness, Monica is currently a resident at a local care home.
She receives weekly physiotherapy from Kelly, a specialist Physiotherapist for falls prevention and elderly care. Over the last year, physiotherapy has helped Monica to maintain some independence, promote prevention of falls and posture awareness and contribute to her general wellbeing.
A typical physiotherapy session includes mobility practice, often down to the library area or out to the gardens. In addition, standing strength and balance exercise with support from a heavy chair or the wall bars. Then seated and strengthening routines with an exercise band or weights.
Monica reports that she looks forward to her weekly physio sessions and enjoys an opportunity to walk outside a little further than normal.
Following a recent training course, the team is looking to introduce some basic Tai Chi too.
Doctor is bowled over by later life fitness
Many years ago, Dr Geoffrey had to choose between sport and medicine. In late 1940s, he played cricket for Lancashire’s minor counties team. In the last match he played, he not only opened the bowling and took wickets, he managed to score 150 runs. At the time he was playing cricket, he was also taking his final exam for his studies to be a doctor, so made the decision to give up cricket.
At one stage during the last two years, Dr Geoffrey’s loss of mobility due to pain and hip instability was marked. At his lowest point, he was struggling to complete a walk of 100 yards indoors. He worked regularly on an exercise programme as if he was training for that bowling spell.
In April this year, he completed a one-mile walk outside on behalf of the Stroke Association- something the team felt so proud about. He is still walking the course regularly, continuing to get stronger, and reporting that he has completed his mile much quicker.
Research shows that you can build people’s muscle bulk well into their 90s. It just requires some adaptation of strength training, with lots of repetition.
Patrick is fit for life
Patrick is the newest recruit in the "fit for later life" group. In his younger years, Patrick ran against a young Sir Roger Bannister! At 90, Patrick still enjoys exercise having maintained a love of sport throughout his life.
The Physiofit Fit for later life class is an exercise group that targets strength, balance and flexibility, alongside fall prevention in a small group setting. It promotes group improvement alongside individually tailored goals.