Right now, roughly 750,000 (15%) of Canadians aged 65 or older are living with Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. By 2031, some estimates suggest that number will double. Those suffering directly from the disease are not alone; the physical and psychological toll on caregivers is immense.
Alzheimer’s causes patients to gradually lose their memory, and over time, lose physical functions as well. It can rob individuals of their dignity and independence. Medicine can help, but there is no cure. Studies show that regular exercise is a key part of living with the disease. It helps maintain motor skills, reduces the risk of falls, and has been shown to slow the rate of mental decline.
A physiotherapist can help by recognizing the challenges associated with different stages of the diseases, and tailoring exercise routines to the individual needs of each patient.