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Volume 10 Supplement 1

de Senectute: Age and Health Forum

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Rehabilitative therapy of elderly patients

The aging of the population given to the improvement in life expectancy led to an increase both in absolute numbers that the importance of the older age groups. In parallel it has been observed in the time also an increased disability which generates more welfare and a higher cost for health and social care for society. Rehabilitation works on the individual as a whole considering needs, social context, environment and disability. Aims to reorganize the patients life to make the most positive experiences number, despite having suffered motor and cognitive limitations, to ensure a better quality of life.

Prerequisite for the attainment of these objectives are: the presence of a multidisciplinary team, the continuity of the therapeutic program, bearing in mind that, for the elderly, the acceptation of terapy, reduced functional reserves, the psychological attitude, operators and, not least, the family, are very important to obtain a good outcome.

In the geriatric field there are patients with multiple problems that are not disabling in themselves, which have a reduced physical ability that makes difficult the usual activities of daily living (such as the frail elderly who is in a nursing facility) but also subjects with specific disabling diseases, often associated with more diseases.

The rehabilitative therapy can turn both the elderly patients at risk of disability and to those already disabled. In the first case it will aim to work on the functional loss that follows the interaction aging and disease, in the second it will try to recover the highest possible level of independence in the subjects already disabled.

An important role in this path of recovery and reorganization, dictated by the changes typical of senescence is of the physiotherapist, which has got the requirements of study and law suits for such intervention, ensuring scientifically proven results.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Inzitari, M.T. Rehabilitative therapy of elderly patients. BMC Geriatr 10 (Suppl 1), L63 (2010).

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