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Dementia describes a group of symptoms affecting memory, which are progressive in nature and cause impairment of cognitive function such as memory, attention, concentration, and problem-solving. In the later stages of dementia’s walking, talking, continence and behavior can also be affected. This will affect a person’s ability with everyday tasks at work and at home.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately 58,000 people in Ireland are living with dementia.

People with dementia who have problems with their mobility, balance, or strength will benefit from physiotherapy. Physiotherapy will increase your independence and sense of wellbeing by helping you stay active and prevent your risk of falling. Physiotherapy will promote mobility and everyday tasks making your life easier.

There are many types of dementia each with its own causes. 

The most common include:

Alzheimer’s is caused by plaques that develop over time in the structure of the brain, leading to the death of brain cells. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means over time more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, the symptoms become more severe.

Vascular dementia is caused by disruption in blood supply to the brain through the vascular system which in turn causes brain cells to die leading to dementia.

Dementia with Lewy bodies shares characteristics with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and is caused by small proteins that form on the nerve cells in the brain disrupting memory and motor control. It can also cause changes in attention, such as tiredness and loss of speech, and motor symptoms such as rigidity and loss of spontaneous movement. This type of dementia is progressive which means the symptoms will become worse over time. Lewy body dementia can progress rapidly.

Fronto – temporal dementia caused by damage to the frontal lobe and/or the temporal parts of the brain which are responsible for our behaviour, emotional responses and language skills.

Koraskoff dementia associated with heavy alcohol drinking over a long period of time causing a lack of vitamin B1 and affecting the brain and nervous system.


Our Approach

Physiotherapy treatment for people with dementia is best provided by a specialized neurological physiotherapist At The Waterfall Clinic, our physiotherapists are experienced in treating people with dementia and have additional qualifications dementia studies. Communication, reminiscence and a person-centered approach is gold standard in our practice. Physiotherapy treatment will help increase independence in everyday life by enhancing mobility and promoting health and wellbeing.

Treatment Plan

Physiotherapy will target problems associated with aging such as limited range of movement, swelling, pain, and muscle weakness. People with dementia have an increased risk of falling so treatment will also look at how to prevent falls.

Physiotherapy is focused on:

  • Balance training to help improve confidence and reduce the risk of falling.
  • Promoting mobility and making functional tasks easier. For example, walking, and balance may become difficult as dementia progresses, but can be improved by learning new ways of doing things.
  • Stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles to improve walking, climbing the stairs, or getting in and out of a chair/bed.
  • Advice on devices for the home environment or mobility aids, such as walking sticks to increase safety and promote functional abilities.
  • Increasing motivation and decreasing fear or anxiety
  • Using cognitive rehabilitation therapy and memory strategies to improve aspects of memory and cognitive functioning

A thorough assessment will be carried out in your home looking at furniture, footwear, and clothing as well as your physical ability in order to promote your safety and independence


Johanne has an outstanding way with people with dementia. She is so caring and knowledgeable within this area. She came to see my mum who was having a lot of falls and mobility issues. She was so engaging with my mum and I learned so much from her on that visit

Martina Fallon

Why Choose Us?

Highly Trained

Access to latest


Patient centred


Fully accessible clinic
and rehabilitation gym

Covered by the following

The Waterfall Clinic, 6 Claregate St,
Kildare, R51 K752