Updated: Jan 12
Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating condition that robs patients of their memories and independence. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, physical therapy can help patients manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. In this blog post, we will explore the top 5 benefits of physical therapy in treating Alzheimer’s disease. From improved cognitive function to increased mobility, physical therapy can make a real difference in the lives of Alzheimer’s patients.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
In addition to physical benefits, physical therapy can also provide social and emotional benefits for people with Alzheimer’s. Exercise can help reduce anxiety and depression, and social interaction can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
What are the risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease?
The most important risk factor is age – the older you are, the greater your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Other risk factors include:
Family history. If someone in your family has Alzheimer’s disease, you have a greater chance of developing the condition yourself.
Lifestyle choices. Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising enough, and eating an unhealthy diet all increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease.
How is physical therapy beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s disease?
Regular exercise has been shown to improve brain function in people with those suffering from this ailment, and research studies suggest that physical activity may also help to slow the progression of the disease. Physical therapists can design an exercise program specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease that takes into account their abilities and limitations.
Physical activity has been shown to improve brain function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, so getting patients moving with physical therapy is a key part of treatment.
In addition to movement, physical therapists also focus on helping patients with balance and coordination. As Alzheimer’s progresses, patients can become more unsteady on their feet and at risk for falls. Physical therapists work with patients to help them maintain their balance and prevent falls.
Finally, physical therapy can also help Alzheimer’s patients by providing social interaction and connection. Because Alzheimer’s causes changes in mood and behavior, patients can become isolated from friends and family. Physical therapy provides an opportunity for social interaction and helps keep patients connected to the world around them.
Mobile Physiocare has a lot of programs and consultation services that can be beneficial for you. We have Private Home Physical Therapy, Mobile Physical Therapy in Bergen County New Jersey, and Neurological Physical Therapy in Hudson County New Jersey. We also have Group Exercise Classes in Bergen County New Jersey, and other cities in New Jersey for our clients.
Here are the top 5 benefits of physical therapy:
1. Improve independence with activities of daily living and functional mobility.
If you have Alzheimer’s disease, you may become weaker and less able to do the things you enjoy. As the disease progresses, patients often lose the ability to take care of themselves. The study shows that physical therapy can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance in patients with Alzheimer's. Physical therapists also help patients learn how to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) like dressing and bathing independently. Hence help maintain their independence for longer. It not only helps improve their quality of life but also helps them maintain their dignity.
2. Reduce the risk of falls.
Alzheimer’s disease affects seniors more than any other age group. The study shows as balance deficits are related to cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment becomes worse with the progression of the disease. It causes balance deficits and hence leads to falls.
Falls are a serious concern for seniors, as they can lead to injuries that can be difficult to recover from. By helping to improve balance and coordination, physical therapy can help reduce the risk of falls and keep seniors safe.
3. Improve cognitive function and/or slow down cognitive impairment.
Exercise can improve mood, decrease aggression, and slows down memory loss.
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms typically develop slowly and worsen over time. Early-stage symptoms may include trouble remembering recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer's may experience more dire symptoms such as confusion, impaired judgment, and difficulty speaking or writing. People in the late stages of the disease may no longer be able to carry on a conversation or recognize loved ones. The studies show physical therapy can help improve mood, reduce aggression, and slow down memory loss.
Exercise can help improve mood by releasing endorphins. These are hormones that have mood-boosting effects. Exercise can also help reduce aggression by improving sleep quality and reducing stress levels. In addition, exercise has been shown to slow down memory loss in people with Alzheimer's disease by improving blood flow to the brain and promoting the growth of new brain cells.
4. Improve sleeping patterns and reduce fatigue.
Studies show physical therapy can help to improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue. Exercise and physical activity can help to increase the production of endorphins, which can improve mood and help to reduce stress levels.
5. Prevent physical pain.
There are many benefits of physical therapy. One of the top benefits is that it can help to reduce the risk of back problems and physical pain. By strengthening the muscles and improving flexibility, Physical therapy can help to keep the spine healthy and prevent pain.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, you can contact MobilePhysiocare for at-home Physical Therapy for Seniors for a one-on-one consultation.
HERNÁNDEZ, S. S. S. et al. What are the Benefits of Exercise for Alzheimer’s Disease? A Systematic Review of the Past 10 Years. Journal of Aging & Physical Activity, [s. l.], v. 23, n. 4, p. 659–668, 2015. Disponível em: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s3h&AN=110536690&site=eds-live. Acesso em: 8 jan. 2023.
ANDRADE, A. et al. Effects of Exercise in the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease: An Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Journal of Aging & Physical Activity, [s. l.], v. 30, n. 3, p. 535–551, 2022. DOI 10.1123/japa.2021-0033. Disponível em: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=157332160&site=eds-live. Acesso em: 8 jan. 2023.
Gro Gujord Tangen, Knut Engedal, Astrid Bergland, Tron Anders Moger, Anne Marit Mengshoel, Relationships Between Balance and Cognition in Patients With Subjective Cognitive Impairment, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer Disease, Physical Therapy, Volume 94, Issue 8, 1 August 2014, Pages 1123–1134, https://doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20130298
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