How Exercise And Staying On Physiotherapy Regime Can Help With Alzheimer’s
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition. It damages brain cells and affects how we speak, think, move, and deal with other people. It can lead to a decline in memory and the ability to perform daily activities.
The risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease increases with age. People rarely develop the disease before age 60. Most people with the disease do not have a family history of it.
Signs and Symptoms
- Memory changes disrupt daily life.
- Difficulty making decisions, especially in planning or solving problems.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks.
- Confusion about time and/or place.
- Trouble understanding visual images or the way things fit together (spatial relationships).
- Finding the right words to say when speaking or writing.
- Misplacing items and losing the ability to retrace your steps.
- Poor or decreased judgment about safety.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities.
- Changes in mood or personality.
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
Physiotherapists are in a great position to help people age well. Research shows that:
- Physical activity can improve brain function and memory. This is true for healthy older adults or for those with mild cognitive problems.
- Regular exercise may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in healthy older adults.
- Regular exercise may delay a decline in the ability to perform tasks in people who have Alzheimer’s disease by improving their strength, balance, and walking ability
Physiotherapists are trained to use a variety of teaching methods, techniques, and unique approaches to treating people with Alzheimer’s disease, including:
- Sight, sound and touch cues. Verbal cues are short, simple, spoken instructions. Touch cues might include taking someone’s hand to get them to walk.
- Mirroring. The physiotherapist serves as a “mirror” to show an individual how to move. For example, to help the person raise his or her right arm, the physical therapist would raise his or her left arm.
- Task breakdown. Physiotherapists can break down tasks into short, simple step-by-step “pieces.” This technique can be used, for example, to teach a person how to safely move from lying in bed to sitting in a chair.
- Hand-over-hand guidance. The physiotherapist makes the patient’s hand or touches another body part to guide them through a motion.
- Muscle training. To help someone walk safely, the physiotherapist can train a person’s muscles to “learn” to respond to changes like uneven or unstable surfaces.
- Balance Exercises: Often as we age, our balance skills deteriorate. For this reason, it is important to do exercises to improve and maintain balance throughout our lives. Balance exercises can be performed daily and in your own home.
- Strengthening and Stretching Exercises: Maintaining optimum strength can help keep your muscles strong and keep your functional mobility at its optimum. Your physical therapist can help you determine other strengthening exercises that are right for you, whether it’s core strengthening exercises, abdominal exercises, exercises for healthy knees, or morning stretches to strengthen your back or neck.
- Endurance Exercises: Endurance exercises include any activities that increase your heart rate and respiratory rate. Choose from these fun activities to increase your endurance:
If you have a loved one who is showing some of these signs and symptoms, call us at PCA for an assessment. Our skilled physiotherapists will do an evaluation and advise on the best plan of care to keep them safe and well for as long as possible.
At PCA, our physiotherapists can evaluate you or your loved one to determine what program is right for you.
You can contact us at
+234 907 301 6018