[Role of Physical Therapists in Health Care of the Elderly]

Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2016;71(2):126-32. doi: 10.1265/jjh.71.126.
[Article in Japanese]


Japan is one of the leading countries worldwide in terms of longevity. However, with the increase in the elderly population, the number of individuals requiring some type of daily living assistance has currently exceeded 6 million. Cerebrovascular disease is the main reason for the requirement of care among the elderly. However, individuals in the late old age (≥75 years)-the number of which is rapidly increasing-also experience problems related to the functional decline of their musculoskeletal system, owing to age-related frailty and falls/fractures. Increasing the amount of physical activity not only helps prevent the onset of lifestyle-related diseases, but can also prevent the age-related decline in motor function. Hence, elderly individuals should perform exercises for health promotion and preventative care. However, as the physical functions and chronic diseases differ among individuals, it appears that the exercise programs offered as part of primary and secondary prevention programs may not be effective. Hence, physical therapists should play a large role in establishing appropriate and individualized exercise programs, as they have considerable experience in providing exercise therapy in the context of medical care for elderly people with varying conditions and risks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Physical Therapists*
  • Primary Prevention*
  • Professional Role*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior