With the increase of age, the functions of the elderly will age and decline in all aspects, and there will be more or less certain functional impairments, such as poor balance, memory loss, limb flexibility, and audition ability.
In addition, the elderly are also a high-risk group for various diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, fracture, diabetes, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, etc. After clinical or surgical treatment to overcome the acute stage of the disease, elderly patients often suffer from long-term dysfunction or Incapacitated state, activity ability, and life self-care ability decreased significantly.
The common functional impairment or incapacitated state of the elderly are limb dysfunction and cognitive dysfunction, such as cognitive impairment, balance decline, audition function deterioration, and other senile degenerative diseases. Therefore, functional impairments in elderly patients during treatment or postoperatively should receive greater attention.
A major feature of dysfunction in the elderly is that disease and dysfunction are interrelated and interact, which brings greater difficulties to the functional recovery of the elderly. When multiple chronic diseases coexist, such as cerebral apoplexy and osteoarthropathy, post-stroke hemiplegia, and flexion and extension disorders caused by osteoarthritis will bring a greater difficulty to the recovery of limb function.
In addition, the adverse reactions of drugs during treatment can also cause or aggravate the dysfunction of the elderly. For example, antidepressants may cause Parkinson’s syndrome, and hypnotic drugs may cause accidents such as falls and fractures.
Therefore, for patients with functional impairment after the acute phase of the disease, rehabilitation intervention is urgently needed.
Preventive, medical, functional training or compensation, adjustment, and adaptive treatment of functional impairment in the elderly. That’s what geriatric rehabilitation is all about. Rehabilitation for the elderly is known as the “secret of age reduction” for the elderly because rehabilitation can delay the emergence of functional disorders and maintain a better quality of life.
Rehabilitation training should be carried out at the same time as treatment
After the same fracture surgery, young people can get a good treatment effect and functional recovery through their better recovery ability. However, due to senile degeneration problems, the elderly often have mild cognitive impairment and mild postoperative depression after pain and anesthesia. These psychological disorders will lead to poor eating in elderly patients, and they only dare to lie down and rest. Get out of bed. Over time, after a simple fracture operation, the patient changed from a fracture patient to a “paralyzed patient”, who was bedridden for a long time, and the more he lay, the less he could get out of bed.
In developed countries, the concept of rehabilitation is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, and rehabilitation after illness is highly valued. Modern rehabilitation advocates that “rehabilitation should be intervened from the first day after the disease”, because the disease will inevitably reduce the patient’s activity, and most of the movement disorders such as limb weakness and atrophy are accompanied by it.
Therefore, the first principle of rehabilitation is early intervention. We must abandon the traditional misconceptions of “symptoms first and then recovery” or “clinical treatment and then rehabilitation training”. Early rehabilitation training can not only promote the maintenance and recovery of patients’ functions, but also effectively prevent various complications and complications after clinical treatment, such as thrombosis, pneumonia, pressure ulcers, malnutrition, and joint contractures.
What does early intervention in rehabilitation look like?
The first is preoperative education. Provide relevant rehabilitation knowledge education to patients and their families, so that they can actively cooperate with the completion of preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation training.
Followed by preoperative assessment and preoperative rehabilitation guidance. The patient’s physiological function and psychological state should be fully evaluated to determine whether it can tolerate orthopedic surgery and cooperate with the completion of postoperative rehabilitation training. At the same time, functional training is carried out in a planned way to allow patients to adapt to and learn rehabilitation exercises, such as ankle pump, ROM (range of motion), quadriceps, hamstrings, and other muscle strength training.
The second principle of rehabilitation training is to take comprehensive measures. Clinically, it is often divided into neurological rehabilitation, orthopedic rehabilitation, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, geriatric rehabilitation, etc., and each category is subdivided into different technologies. Sometimes we need a variety of measures to jointly promote the recovery of the patient’s body function.
What are scientific and formal rehabilitation therapy?
Because rehabilitation has not been in our country for a long time, many people’s impression of rehabilitation is still on the concept of “moving muscles and bones, simple massage”. Some patients and their families do not pay attention to rehabilitation or have a limited economic levels, so they cannot go to the hospital rehabilitation department or rehabilitation medical institution for formal and effective rehabilitation training.
Rehabilitation includes exercise therapy, occupational therapy, psychotherapy, speech and language therapy, dysphagia therapy, physical therapy, etc.
- Exercise therapy is the core treatment method of rehabilitation therapy. Using the patient’s own strength, through active and passive exercise training, the patient can recover the whole body or local motor function and sensory function.
- Occupational therapy (OT) is the use of purposeful occupational training, aimed at patients who have physical and mental dysfunction or disability and have lost their ability to live and work to varying degrees so that patients can restore or improve their independent living and working ability to the greatest extent possible. ability to work.
- Psychotherapy is generally implemented by a psychological rehabilitation therapist. Psychotherapy is a process of mutual interaction with the aim of improving the patient’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions.
- Speech and language therapy (ST) is a method of treating patients with various speech disorders by speech therapists.