Key Components in Geriatric Exercise to Optimize Function
An intermediate-level course aims to provide a comprehensive overview of geriatric exercise principles; such as detailed information regarding differential diagnosis, and practice patterns related to most geriatric syndromes that respond to a therapeutic exercise program. According to the Healthclick website, the “Geriatric Exercise—Principles and Practice for Optimal Function,” includes examination and evaluation procedures applicable for treating a patient without referral for each area of physical therapy practice, as needed in the direct access environment.
The course addresses topics such as age-related musculoskeletal, trunk, and lower-extremity posture issues; gait and foot considerations; cardiovascular, pulmonary, and cognitive dysfunctions; and a review of each major joint with problems and solutions discussed. The site adds that the course also discusses exercise approaches intended to accommodate age-related syndromes such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and stroke, Parkinson’s disease, balance disorders, bladder dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy.
According to the website, the course is comprised of a guideline-based model, featuring protocols for different diagnosis, as well as specifics on timelines and precautions. Techniques taught and practiced include postural and aerobic exercise, resistive and aerobic training, safe stretching, gait training, PNF, triplanar functional exercise, and manual therapy with contract/relax.
Course objectives include understanding evidence-based rationale for physical changes with aging, choosing specific evaluation tools for common issues linked to aging, and creating appropriate exercise interventions. Upon completion of the course, participants will also gain the ability to design a range of resistive exercise interventions for geriatric clients, treat gait and mass movement impairments with PNF techniques, and apply diagnosis-specific protocols when designing geriatric exercise interventions.