Aged Care Physiotherapy: Are We Doing It Right? | 70694
Journal of Novel Physiotherapies
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Australians have shown a great increase in life span when comparing the statistics of mortality rates since 1890. Credit
goes to the higher medical and social standards practiced in the country that helps number of deaths as a result of motor
vehicle accidents or heart diseases. But Australia like all other places is facing the challenge to eradicate long term health issues
in geriatric population such as stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart diseases, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Despite failure in advanced medicine and surgery, physiotherapy helps restore normal health and fitness of individuals with
such conditions. On the contrary, the Australian aged populations in the residential or aged care facilities, rural and remote
areas are unable to receive regular physiotherapy treatments due to various reasons. Physiotherapy in aged care nursing
homes focus on pain management by massage or heat packs, because government does not fund for other important goals of
rehabilitation like, balance training, gait training, manipulations or strengthening. On the other hand, an average aged care
physiotherapist earns from $60K-$101K annually, yet the number of physiotherapists working in aged care is less than other
streams. The reasons behind less physiotherapists opting for aged care are numerous, which causes the undertrained nursing
staff to provide pain management to residents in aged care facilities. The purpose of this study is to understand the barriers
faced by aged population in Australia to take physiotherapy treatment. The researcher points out the current status of funding
for aged care in nursing home and private health centers. The study is a helpful resource for physiotherapists in aged care
facilities or those interested to join this field.
Nitish Mathew has completed his Bachelor’s degree from MGM Institute of Health Sciences, India and Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Waikato Institute, New Zealand. Over the years, he has worked in India, New Zealand and Australia as a Physiotherapist and Clinical Exercise Physiologist. He has received various awards for his contributions in sectors of rehabilitation, fitness training and social work. He has published 3 papers and is presently serving as an Aged Care Physiotherapist in Sydney.