Founding and development of IPTOP

The initiative to form an international special interest group for physiotherapists working with older people followed a course held in Malta in 1993 organised by WCPT and the International Institute on Ageing (United Nations, Malta). At the 1999 WCPT Congress in Japan, a steering committee was established and worked over three years to develop a shared vision for an international group. In 2002 the Association was established as The International Association of Physical Therapists working with Older People (IPTOP). IPTOP was recognised officially as one of six subgroups of WCPT in 2003. Since its inception, membership has grown rapidly and by the most recent WCPT Congress in 2019 included groups from 21 WCPT member organisations representing over 11,000 physiotherapists.

The founding member organisations were:

  • Australian National Gerontology Group (Australia)
  • Bulgarian Physiotherapists in Geriatrics (Bulgaria)
  • Finnish Geriatric Association of Physiotherapy (Finland)
  • German Association for Geriatric Physiotherapy (Germany)
  • Icelandic Association of Physical Therapists working with Older People (Iceland)
  • Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology and Gerontology (Ireland)
  • Active for Life (Malta)
  • Physiotherapy for the Older Adult (New Zealand)
  • Turkish Geriatric Physiotherapy Association (Turkey)
  • AGILE Chartered Physiotherapists working with Older People (United Kingdom)
  • American Physical Therapy Association Section on Geriatrics (United States of America)

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