The impact of COVID-19 on rehabilitation services for older adults #physiotalk 29th Mar

The next #physiotalk tweetchat is on Monday 29th March at 8pm BST

Four of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Professional Network’s have teamed up to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on rehabilitation services for older adults @AGILECSP, @theACPRC, @PhysioATOCP and @ACPICR. This has allowed us to cover the full spectrum of rehabilitation specialities in one discussion with a wealth of skills, expertise and experiences.

The process of rehabilitation is focused on helping people who have suffered an impairment to maximise functional ability, psychological wellbeing, and social integration (1). In 2019/2020 The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, alongside a large number of other organisations formed the Community Rehabilitation Alliance (CRA). The CRA aims to:

  • Ensure everyone realises their right to rehabilitation
  • Embrace opportunities, where relevant, to work collectively to campaign for this
  • Use our collective evidence and models of excellence to influence decisions that bring about this change.
  • Align the messages and calls to action on improving access to quality rehabilitation, using our existing plans and campaigns to increase our collective impact.
  • To endorse the quality rehabilitation principles of access, integration and being person centred, as a guide to service development.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted rehabilitation services in both hospital settings and in the community. We hope this evening to explore the impact COVID-19 has had on existing rehabilitation programmes, what adaptations have been made and what the specific impact has been on older adult


Q1. What is the main way that COVID has impacted on your rehab services for older people?

Q2. What specific strategies or changes have you put in place to overcome the effects/impact of COVID on rehabilitation for older people?

Q3. How have changes to community rehab services impacted on discharge planning?

Q4. What feedback have you had from older people and their relatives/carers about the changes to their rehab services?

Q5. What long-term impact do you think COVID will have on your rehab services for older people?

Q6. What are your strategies for moving forward/re-starting service etc?

Chat transcript

Missed the chat? Catch up with the transcript here


De Biase, Sarah., Cook, Laura., Skelton, Dawn A., Witham, Miles., Ten Hove, Ruth. The COVID-19 rehabilitation pandemic. Age and Ageing 2020;1-5. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afaa118

Grund, Stefan., Gordon, Adam L., Bauer, Jurgen M., Achterberg, Wilco P., Schols, Jos MGA. The COVID rehabilitation paradox: why we need to protect and develop geriatric rehabilitation services in the face of the pandemic. Age and Ageing 2021:1-3. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afab009

Goodwin, Victoria A., Allan, Louise., Bethel, Alison., Cowley, Alison., Cross, Jane L., Day, Jo., Drummond, Avril., Hall, Abi J., Howard, Martin., Morley, Naomi., Thompson Coon, Jo., Lamb, Sarah E. Rehabilitation to enable recovery from COVID-19: a rapid systematic review. Physiotherapy. 2021 Feb 22: S0031-9406(21)00017-1. doi: 10.1016/ Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33637294.

BACPR COVID-19 guidance supplement

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