WATERLOO, ON, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Seniors with musculoskeletal
disorders, like arthritis or broken bones, who get rehabilitation at
home are less likely to need admission to hospital or long-term care
homes, say researchers from the University of Waterloo and University
The study, published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation, also found that older patients who receive
physiotherapy and occupational therapy in their own home are more
likely to be discharged from home care services altogether after
"Fewer hospital admissions and a decreased demand for home care services
would represent a significant reduction in the government's overall
health costs," said Professor Paul Stolee, of the Faculty of Applied
Health Sciences at Waterloo.
"The aging of the population is often seen as the biggest cause of
increasing health care costs, which is not true," said Professor
Stolee. "This study provides evidence that if older people get the
right services at the right time, this can actually reduce their cost
to the health system, while improving their quality of life."
Study participants who received physiotherapy or occupational therapy
were more likely to improve in their ability to look after themselves,
to perform necessary household tasks, or to move around independently.
"Many more older people could benefit from physiotherapy or occupational
therapy than actually receive these services. Our data shows that rehab
services in home care are a worthwhile investment, but despite its
benefits, community-based rehabilitation is not adequately funded,"
said Professor Stolee.
Although access to rehabilitation services has been limited for many
older adults, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
recently announced efforts to improve access to physiotherapy, exercise
and fall prevention classes for seniors.
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart
of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading
comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in
undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's
largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its
connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in
learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is
committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by
championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant
to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about
Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.
Professor Paul Stolee is available for interview.
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SOURCE: University of Waterloo
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