Australians living with dementia in residential aged-care facilities (RACF) experience not only cognitive decline, but also changes in emotional control, social behaviour and physical function. Up to 52% of residents in RACF has a diagnosis of dementia. Although benefits of exercise for elderly with dementia is well documented in research literature, current policy and funding system in Australia can sometimes limit access to structured and supervised exercise therapy for residents with dementia.
“Why are we not getting enough exercise?”
Studies overwhelmingly support exercise therapy for elderly with dementia to improve not only physical function (such as mobility, strength and range of motion), but also help falls prevention, maintain cognition, improve mood, reduce agitation, and manage chronic pain. Overall, exercise has a positive impact on the behavioural and psychosocial symptoms of dementia, otherwise known as BPSD. However, the existing system in RACF does not prioritise exercise as a vital mode of therapy for residents with dementia. Our current aged-care policy and funding system has a large focus on ‘disability’, and not enough on ‘ability’, with funding guidelines excluding provisions for exercise therapy. As a result, exercise therapy programs varies immensely between different RACF, and thereby, inadvertently, limiting access for many residents in RACF.
“Not to worry! We’re here to help!”
ProActive Care physiotherapists and team members are cornerstones of the multidisciplinary team providing necessary allied health services to Australians with dementia at our partner aged-care facilities. We provide innovative ways bridge the gap between policy and practice by offering creative additional services to keep residents with dementia active. Our physios are experts in exercise therapy and understand the motivators and barriers to exercise. We adopt a biopsychosocial approach to improving physical function, assisting chronic pain management, and promoting overall wellbeing of older Australians living with dementia.
Contact us to find out more about:
- benefits of exercise therapy for older adults living with dementia,
- accessing exercise therapy for your loved-ones living with dementia, or
- Services ProActive Care can provide to improve exercise therapy access at your aged-care facility.
For full article on “Sufficient exercise for Australians living with dementia in residential aged care facilities is lacking; An exploration of policy incoherence”, visit: https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1265&context=smhpapers1