Did you know?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia that interferes with memory, thinking and behaviour. Although research has shown this is not a normal part of aging, symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s usually develop over time and will gradually have a greater impact on one’s daily activities.
Signs of Alzheimer’s:
- Memory – asking for the same information over and over
- Concentration – having problems following a familiar recipe, rules of a favorite game, or keeping track of bills
- Confusion – forgetting where you are or how you got there, putting things in unusual places and accusing others of stealing
- Visual – difficulty reading, judging distance, or deciphering contrast
- Poor Judgement – especially when dealing with money (ie. giving large amounts to telemarketers)
- Social – avoiding social engagements, removing themselves from hobbies
- Mood – depressed, fearful, anxious, easily upset when out of their comfort zone
The Impact of EXERCISE – What the research shows:
- Regular physical activity can benefit brain health
- Regular walking and strength training may delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Regular exercise may delay the decline in ability to perform activities of daily living in people who have Alzheimer’s disease
As movement experts, physiotherapists design exercise programs for people with a variety of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. These exercise programs focus on keeping people mobile, and helping them continue to perform their roles in their home and in the community; reducing the burden on family members and caregivers. Physiotherapists will also work with family members and care givers to provide support and insight into how to improve the safety and manage the needs of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
People with Alzheimer’s disease may also develop other conditions related to aging, such as arthritis, falls, or broken bones. Physiotherapists are trained to treat these conditions in people who have Alzheimer’s disease by taking into account the impact of Alzheimer’s on other health conditions, on general health, and on the person’s ability to understand instructions. Overall, physical therapy can help improve quality of life!