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Don’t Let Deconditioning Steal Your Strength: Why Timely Physio is Key

Will Ferguson, founder and clinical director of The Caring Physio, knows first hand the struggles of getting timely physiotherapy after hospital discharge. Witnessing the decline in mobility and independence in people he felt compelled to act. Thus, The Caring Physio was born, a company dedicated to bringing personalised care directly to older adults in their homes.

Bridging the Gap: Home Visits for a Vulnerable Population

The landscape of healthcare often overlooks the specific needs of older adults, particularly those discharged from hospitals. Facing mobility challenges and often lacking adequate support, they encounter delays in accessing crucial physiotherapy. Will and his team at The Caring Physio can fill this gap with home visits tailored to a person’s individual needs.

 “there’s something special about going into someone’s house and treating them, rather than them coming into a clinical environment like a GP practice or a hospital. People who are 75, 85, 95 years old it’s very hard for them to get into a car, or arrange transport, get to a GP clinic, sit around and wait and then see a physio in a situation that’s more suited for a kind of sports injury clinic.”  Will Ferguson


Read on or view the full interview here

Beyond Exercise: Tailored Rehabilitation for Diverse Challenges

Their team, composed of passionate and experienced physiotherapists, goes beyond the typical one-size-fits-all approach. The most common issues they address include:

  • Cognitive Issues: Navigating the difficulties of dementia and other neurological conditions. (For more information on dementia see types of dementia)
  • Fractures and Falls: Regaining confidence and movement after injuries. (See our guide on fall prevention)
  • Deconditioning: The decline in strength and mobility resulting from prolonged hospital stays.

“The most common problem we see is a result of people being in hospital for too long. Often someone has gone into hospital, planned or unplanned, and because they’ve not been themselves, they’ve not been able to mobilize as well. The time that they spend in hospital normally means they come out weaker. We call this ‘deconditioning.’ It might be that someone falls over and hurts themselves, they don’t always end up breaking something or they have an infection, a UTI (urinary tract infection) is quite common or even a chest infection. Someone may have fallen over and broken their hip, we see a lot of hip fractures in the community. We also see a lot of people with dementia, as the dementia advances, they start to lose their mobility. This also happens with people living with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders like strokes.” Will Ferguson


For each client, The Caring Physio team create a specific treatment plan, incorporating:

  • Exercise Regimens: Targeted exercises to improve strength, balance, and flexibility. (Read our blog on fitness benefits for the elderly)
  • Manual Therapy: Techniques like massage and mobilisation to alleviate pain and stiffness.
  • Functional Training: Practical exercises focusing on everyday activities like walking, stairs, and personal care.

“We encourage people to be able to balance to walk to the toilet, or go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. Or if they need to get out and see a doctor’s appointment, how can they get outside? And what kind of walking frame do they need to use inside, versus outside? Do they need a wheelchair? Can we get them down the stairs to get access to the car? Can they get in out of their car?”


Building Trust and Dignity: A Holistic Approach to Care

The Caring Physio recognizes that physiotherapy extends beyond physical intervention. Building trust and rapport is paramount. Their approach centres around:

  • Active Listening: Understanding each client’s unique story and concerns.
  • Empathy and Compassion: Respecting the emotional challenges of aging and illness.
  • Patient-Centred Care: Tailoring programs to individual goals and capabilities.

This fosters a positive environment where clients feel empowered and motivated to participate in their own recovery.

Empowering Families: Choosing the Right Physiotherapist

For families seeking physiotherapy for their loved ones, navigating the options can be challenging. Will offers valuable advice:

  • Qualifications and Experience: Ensure the physiotherapist is registered and possesses relevant experience in geriatric care and specific conditions. Useful link: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy 
  • Area of Expertise: Consider your loved one’s specific needs and match them with a physiotherapist specializing in those areas.
  • The Human Connection: Look for a good rapport and trust between the client and the therapist. A comfortable and respectful relationship is vital for successful therapy.

Advocating for Change: A Vision for Better Healthcare

Will’s passion extends beyond his company. He actively advocates for improvements in the healthcare system for older adults:

  • Combating Ageism: Challenging societal bias against older adults in healthcare provision.
  • Prioritising Timely Intervention: Addressing the delays in physiotherapy access after discharge.
  • Strengthening Skills of Carers: Promoting regular physiotherapy access within care facilities.

He believes that improving accessibility to quality physiotherapy is crucial for maintaining the dignity and independence of older adults.

The Caring Physio: Growing to Meet the Need

As the demand for community physiotherapy for older adults increases, The Caring Physio is expanding its reach. They are:

  • Expanding Service Areas: Covering new regions to extend their reach to more communities.
  • Collaborating with Care Homes: Working with care facilities to implement preventative and ongoing physiotherapy programs.
  • Investing in Staff: Recruiting and training additional passionate physiotherapists to maintain their high standards of care.

Taking Control of Recovery: Reaching Out to The Caring Physio

If you or a loved one requires physiotherapy support, The Caring Physio can offer a personalised solution. You can easily connect with them through:

  • Website:
  • Online Enquiry Form: Submitting your details for a personalised consultation.
  • Contact Number: Reaching out directly to their friendly team on 01184 492432

By offering home-based physiotherapy with a focus on individual needs and respect, The Caring Physio is empowering older adults to regain their strength, independence, and dignity. Will Ferguson’s passion and dedication shine through in his company’s mission, one step at a time, helping individuals reclaim their lives and navigate the challenges of aging with renewed confidence.

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