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As individuals grow older there is often a natural decline in ability to walk, climb the stairs or stand up from a chair. This can be frustrating and disabling for the elderly population and increase the need for assistance from family or carers. Physiotherapy can help with this. Specific exercises to improve muscle strength, balance, core stability and co-ordination can help to improve an individual’s ability to move around and complete normal activities of daily living safely and efficiently. By improving or maintaining an elderly person’s mobility and function, they can be more independent and have a high standard of quality of life.

Practicing transfers from wheel chair to bed with supervision of the PhysiotherapistAbove: Practicing transfers from wheel chair to bed with supervision of the Physiotherapist

Causes of general deterioration

An individual’s ability to carry out day to day activities may deteriorate due to illness, pain, cognitive function or long standing medical condition.

Treatment for general deterioration

It is important to access the correct help and support if an individual is no longer able to carry out previous activities. If you have an elderly relative who has noticed a reduction in ability to move around lately, encourage them to visit a doctor and explain the symptoms, problems and time span on the deterioration. The doctor will be able to carry out appropriate tests and medical investigations to determine the cause and provide advice on future course of action. The doctor will also be able to make referrals to other appropriate agencies such as chiropody or social services. If your relative is unable to move around the home at all, it may be necessary to have a formal care package from social services and use equipment such as a hoist and hospital bed to care for them appropriately.

Physiotherapy for deterioration

At, our specialist physiotherapists are able to carry out a thorough examination and physical assessment of individuals who are having difficulties with mobility. The assessment can be carried out in the clinic or home environment depending on where is most convenient for you. Our physiotherapists have significant experience with mobility problems in the elderly population and will carry out a detailed, professional assessment. Muscle strength, co-ordination, sensation, range of movement, balance and mobility will all be assessed thoroughly. It is often helpful to have a friend or relative of the individual present at the assessment in order to provide a comprehensive account of the patient’s past medical history, main problem areas and a history of deterioration if they will struggle to provide this information themselves. Following this, our physiotherapists will discuss the individual’s problems and set specific patient centred goals. A treatment plan will be based on working towards achieving these goals and may include: Our physiotherapist will teach your elderly relative a range of exercises to do in their own time. These exercises can also be taught to family, friends and formal carers who will encourage the patient do them outside of physiotherapy sessions. An increase in exercise will increase the rate of improvement. The elderly patient will be assessed carrying out a range of functional activities such as getting in/out of bed, standing up, walking, climbing the stairs, using the bathroom and kitchen. If required, mobility aids and equipment can be recommended and supplied to make functional tasks easier and safer. These may include but are not limited to a walking stick, a zimmer frame, a kitchen trolley, a bath seat and grab rails. If the individual has problems which are outside of physiotherapy, our physiotherapist will act quickly and liaise professionally with other health professionals. For example, with your consent, we will discuss medication with your elderly relative’s doctor; refer foot problems to podiatry or bathroom assessments to occupational therapy.

There are substantial physical and cognitive benefits to having physiotherapy treatment for the individual who is experiencing a general deterioration. These benefits include:
  • Increased independence
  • Increased mobility and transfers
  • Increased confidence and motivation
  • Increased muscle strength and balance
  • Increased exercise tolerance and stamina
  • Increased flexibility and range of movement
  • Learn exercises to do at home
  • Try with new aids and equipment to make life easier
  • Decreased pain


At we understand that people’s mobility can be variable and may require additional help and support from time to time. Our physiotherapists are able to provide one-off assessments or regular structured therapy sessions to improve an individual’s ability to walk and carry out functional tasks.
  • No waiting lists
  • Treatment of any condition
  • Treatment at home, in clinic or in a care home
  • Caring, experienced physiotherapists
  • Access to occupational therapy
  • Access to hydrotherapy
  • Flexible appointment times
Physiotherapy significantly increases independence and quality of life in the elderly population. Sessions can be held in the home environment or at one of our clinic locations. To book an appointment or talk to an experienced and motivated physiotherapist about your elderly relative, please contact us now on 0330 088 7800. Alternatively, please book an appointment online today.

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