What is geriatric rehabilitation about?
Increased life expectancy of people in developed societies is the unconditional success of modern medicine. However, a longer life expectancy is associated with an increase in the number of serious diseases common to older patients.
Modern medicine does not consider that the changes in physical health and psychological state of elderly people are an inevitable result of longevity. It is widely accepted that old age should be viewed as a well-deserved rest, not anguish. This is why geriatric rehabilitation became an independent field of medicine in many developed countries, including Israel, where the geriatric society was organized in 1956.
The main aim of geriatric rehabilitation is to restore body functions weakened by age and to maintain them at an optimal level. In the course of rehabilitation procedures the patient’s lifestyle and existence of certain diseases are taken into account. The goals of rehabilitation activities are formulated individually for each patient.
A specific rehabilitation program is drawn up for each patient by a group of specialists, which consists of a geriatrician, psychiatrist, occupational therapist and various physicians (neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, oncologist, urologist) who have additional training in the field of gerontology. This is important because all procedures have to take into account physiological characteristics inherent to the elderly, such as increased bone fragility. It is also important to take into account psychological characteristics specific to patients' age.
In the process of rehabilitation attention is paid to all aspects of active living:
- Activities of Daily Living (ADL) training
- improving cognitive abilities, including through the development of fine motor skills
- strengthening leisure enjoyment and communication skills
The value of geriatric rehabilitation in the 21st century has been steadily increasing, and the demand for the services of competent professionals is constantly growing. Such rehabilitation treatment in Israel enhances long-lasting positive effects, helping to significantly improve the quality of life of older persons.