Hydrotherapy can help improve strength and general fitness and is particularly beneficial for seniors who are recovering from an injury or have conditions such as arthritis.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is a pool-based treatment that involves special exercises in a warm-water pool. The hydrotherapy pool is usually treated to 33 to 36°C, which is warmer than a typical swimming pool.
Exercises are usually done under the guidance of a physiotherapist and the exercises are tailored to a person’s individual needs to aid movement and strength.
How does hydrotherapy help?
There are many ways that hydrotherapy can help – particularly older people:
- The warmth of the water eases joint pain and allows muscles to relax, making exercising easier.
- The water supports your weight, which can increase the range of joint movement and relieve pain.
- The water provides resistance which improves muscle strength.
Hydrotherapy as part of a home care package
Envigor Logan care partner Samantha Hearn says that one of her clients is currently experiencing the benefits of hydrotherapy to repair an injury and improve mobility, using her home care package for weekly hydrotherapy sessions with a physiotherapist.
“I have a client who is 88-years-old, she has Alzheimer’s and has been wanting to do hydrotherapy for a long time,” says Sam.
“When she signed up to her package with us at the start of the year, she had a moonboot on as she had injured herself during physio. She has been doing hydrotherapy sessions for eight weeks so far, under the guidance of her long-term physiotherapist and she will continue to do a weekly session for the next 12-months.”
Sam says that her client enjoys her weekly sessions at the West Logan Aquatic Centre and has already seen improvements in her strength and mobility.
“In one of her early sessions she needed to be transferred in and out of the pool in a wheelchair but lately she has been able to enter and exit the pool without a wheelchair.
“She does a range of exercises, including walking laps, sideways walking, standing exercises such as calf raises and squats as well as wall push ups and floating and kicking.
“It’s so encouraging seeing such improvements in a short space of time and to see her enjoying her exercise.”