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Many elderly people suffer from reduced mobility. They are unable to walk as far, for as long without getting tired or getting aches and pains. This can be due to a health condition such as stroke, arthritis, heart disease or osteoporosis. However, sometimes there is no pre-existing health condition, elderly people just have variable mobility and explain it as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days.

Treatment for reduced mobility

If you have noticed a reduction in an elderly relative’s mobility, a visit to your general practitioner may be useful to determine the cause. Your doctor is likely to recommend intensive physiotherapy in order to increase mobility and confidence.

Mobility exercises and gait retraining with specialist physiotherapistAbove: Mobility exercises and gait retraining with specialist physiotherapist

Physiotherapy for reduced mobility

An experienced physiotherapist at will assess your elderly relative’s ability to get in and out of bed, to stand up and sit down and to walk indoors and outdoors. If there is difficulty carrying out any of these activities, we will suggest mobility aids and equipment which can make the task easier. Our physiotherapists will assess muscle strength, range of movement, balance and will formulate a problem list and treatment plan. Depending on the individual’s problems, a treatment plan for an elderly relative with mobility problems may include: The individual will be taught a variety of exercises which will increase muscle strength, improve balance and co-ordination. It is important that the exercises are completed regularly at home. It can be useful if a family member or carer is able to correct technique and provide encouragement to do the exercises daily. If the individual has drop foot due to a neurological problem and specific muscle weakness then it may be appropriate to use electrical stimulation or an orthotic in the shoe to assist walking. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) uses electrical impulses to stimulate a muscle contraction. It is often used to pull the toes up towards you when walking to prevent the foot dragging and causing trips and falls. Ankle-foot orthotics (AFO) or toe-up splints can also help with this problem and are worn on the outside of the foot in the shoe. Your physiotherapist will be able to assess walking and determine the appropriate aids and appliances that are most suitable for the individual.

It is certain that physiotherapy significantly benefits individuals who have mobility problems. The overall benefits of physiotherapy are:
  • Decreased risk of falls
  • Improved walking pattern
  • Able to walk further and for longer
  • Safe and effective use of appropriate walking aid
  • Increased balance and postural stability
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Increased confidence
  • Increased independence
  • Improved quality of life
Whilst improving walking pattern and ability it is important that the individual remains at low risk of falls. It is essential that the elderly population avoid all trips and falls as far as possible. Our physiotherapists have specialist training and skills in falls prevention and are able to provide professional advice and guidance as to how to decrease the risk of your elderly relative having a fall. Training and education is available to the individuals family and carers as to positioning, seating, walking and the use of aids and equipment.

Specialist Physiotherapist using an orthotic to stabilise the ankle during mobilisationAbove: Specialist Physiotherapist using an orthotic to stabilise the ankle during mobilisation


At, we understand that being unable to walk sufficient distance to carry out usual activities of daily living can be frustrating and worrying for the individual and their family. Our specialist physiotherapists can offer expert treatment and advice to improve mobility and ability to carry out a rewarding active life.
  • No waiting lists
  • No diagnosis required
  • Treatment for any condition causing reduced mobility
  • Treatment at home, the clinic or care home
  • Friendly, experienced physiotherapists
  • Flexible appointment times
  • Access to occupational therapy
  • Access to hydrotherapy
Physiotherapy helps to restore mobility, muscle strength, confidence and quality of life. To book an appointment or talk to a physiotherapist about your elderly relative please contact us now on 0330 088 7800. Alternatively, you can also book an appointment with us online today!

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