Primary care services are health cares services within the community who provide continuity and integration of health care for an individual. The objectives of primary care are the provision of an array of preventative and curative health services (Medicalnet.com, 2000). For example, physiotherapists often provide falls prevention programs. In regards to an aging population, primary care services focus on empowerment of older persons to maintain autonomy in their lives, regardless of their level of function and psychological state (Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, 2002). Capacity and capacity building are other definitions of empowerment. The concept of empowerment incorporates the willingness and ability of a person to initiate, plan, direct and evaluate their own circumstances without reliance on another to undertake these processes (Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, 2002; Tandon, 1995). Autonomy of older people refers to their skills to reason and problem-solve independently, and to personally evaluate and consider their own abilities and limitations (The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, 2004).
This paper aims to articulate and critically analyse the practices and expectations of a clinical physiotherapy charity and to determine how the organisation meets the health and well-being needs of older persons within the UK community who are at risk of falls. In 2002 the Chartered Society for Physiotherapists in the UK established a “top ten” of physiotherapy priorities for the older person. One of these priorities was determining the effectiveness of structured exercises to assist with functioning of older persons living in the community (Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, 2002). Due to a lack of appropriate community services many long-term dysfunctional issues of elders within the community are neglected (Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, 2002).Design and implementation of structured exercises can assist older persons to empower