A physiotherapy specialist from Butler in Melbourne is offering his services to elderly people in his home city of Melbourne.
It comes as health experts warn that older people could be at higher risk of developing dementia.
A report from the Australian Geriatric Society (AGS) found that people over the age of 80 have a greater risk of dementia than younger people.
Dr Anthony D’Angelo, senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia’s Faculty of Public Health, said that the lack of physical activity and lack of a consistent, structured social environment could be factors that contribute to dementia.
“It’s a very complex disease and it’s complex for a number of reasons,” he said.
“A lot of people don’t get enough physical activity.
They don’t have the social support or they’re not socialised.
They have to go to the doctor more often.
We’ve got people who are doing everything at home, they’re at home alone and they’re in isolation and that doesn’t work for them.”
Dr D’angelo said it was not uncommon for older people to spend a lot of time alone, as they were unable to engage with their community.
“The more isolation you are in, the more likely you are to have this kind of dementia,” he explained.
According to the AGS, dementia can lead to cognitive impairment, and can cause significant psychological distress.
“People with dementia may feel helpless and they may feel isolated from the rest of society,” Dr D’Alessio said.
“This can be exacerbated by poor socialisation.”
Dr Darragh said that elderly people were often unable to access services due to financial barriers.
“They’re usually living in a care home where they have very little social contact and they have a limited number of services they can access,” she said.
“If you have dementia, you’re likely to have some difficulties accessing care.”
If people are living in isolation, they can’t interact with the community and they might not have the support of their loved ones.
“There are many ways that Butler can help people in their 60s and 70s, including providing physical therapy, occupational therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.”
We provide physical therapy to people of all ages, and cognitive therapy to elderly patients,” Dr Ahern said.
Dr Della said that Butler physiotherapy was a great option for older patients who were unable or unwilling to take their own physical therapy.
If you or anyone you know needs assistance, contact a community-based health service.