Conditions Primarily resulting in Cognitive Impairments
Physiotherapy has a role in the management of cognitive impairment and dementia where a participants cognitive decline results in reduced mobility, increased muscle weakness, impaired balance and increased risk of falls, withdrawal from usual activities, increased stress and mood disturbance, and increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic health complications that are associated with inactivity.
Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology programs, both available at 4 Life, are beneficial for people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia, with a 2020 systemic review concluding that physical exercise can reduce global cognitive decline and lessen behavioral problems.
Why Exercise is Important
Exercise programs developed under guidance of a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist can:
- Assist in falls prevention in people with dementia.
- Increase brain capacity as it boosts blood flow to the brain, encourages neuroplasticity, and increases testosterone levels which can help protect brain cells.
- Build or maintain muscle mass, strength, balance and coordination.
- Prevent mobility problems and health complications associated with inactivity.
- Reduce stress and depression commonly experienced by people with dementia.
- Increase social participation and quality of life.
Research demonstrates that exercise for 60 minutes a day, or two to three times a week, is recommended.