Erika Cyrus Barker
Santa Paula University, Costa Rica
Erika Cyrus Barker is the Chair Director of Physical Therapy Program, Santa Paula University, Costa Rica, and a Physical Therapist with studies in Rehab Sciences. She has completed her PhD in Medical Sciences Research. She has a Master’s in Functional Rehabilitation of Elderly Population. She is also a Researcher in the field of Functional Limitations caused by Chronic Degenerative Diseases.
How to correctly prescribe exercise to elderly population was the problem that needed study. The definition states that, from a functional perspective, a healthy old person is one who is capable of facing the process of change with an adequate level of functional adaptability and personal satisfaction. With advanced age, the older adult can reach a state of vulnerability, fragility, which predates and predisposes the individual to disability and functional dependence, hospitalization and death. The fragility phenotype described by Fried et al. 2001, mentioned by Gine'-Garriga et al., identifies a fragile individual when 3 or more of the following criteria are present; unintentional weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue or low resistance to small effort, slow gait and low level of physical activity. It constitutes a fundamental decision of the prescription phase of any neuromuscular training program aimed at improving or maintaining health. In addition, the correct analysis or multivariate integration of the exercise selection will allow the identification and progression of the same ones whose motor characteristics are common or very similar and therefore constitute exercises similar and interchangeable with each other to cover the same objectives from the point of view of health and functionality. It is important for the physical therapist to know the essential assessments and goals before prescribing exercise to older adults.