Messages to IPTOP Members

December Message to the IPTOP Members

December 2020 

Groningen, the Netherlands 

Dear members, 

The year 2020 will be one of those years that will stay permanently in the collective memory  of everyone. The impact of Covid-19 worldwide was and is still enormous and affected our  daily lives and the way we used to work. Specifically the care for older people was affected  as this virus had a devastating effect on frail older people. At first most attention was  directed to acute and hospital care as many people who were infected by the new virus  became very ill. Second attention was focused on flattening the curve by all kind of  measures to prevent infection. Social distancing was the main measures taken everywhere  with total or partial lock-downs, working from home, online lessons and keeping your  patient fit by e-health application or tele-conferences 

Thirdly attention was given to people who survived the infection and had to recover and  finally some attention was given to those who were affected by all the measures taken.  Again the older people were the most affected by social distancing, limited access to  physiotherapy and by the limited other physical activities outside resulting in a decline of  physical fitness, mobility and muscle strength. Let alone the social deprivation with an  increase of loneliness and decrease of the quality of life.  

With great admiration we witnessed the courageous actions of many of our colleagues in the  frontline of the fight against Covid-19 in assisting daily care, keeping all patients active by  innovative ways of giving physiotherapy and fighting against inequalities in care.  

I’m proud that IPTOP, together with World Physiotherapy and the World Health  Organisation (WHO) was able to be of influence in many matters that were arising during  this crisis for example the shortage of personal protective equipment in elderly care. I’m  proud of all our members that kept on going with a positive attitude and with passion for the  care of older people. Seeing and feeling all this positive energy of you made me proud to be  your president. The year has shown me even more clearly how important international  collaboration is, what we can learn from each other and how we can be of influence as an  association on all levels of physiotherapy in older care. Stay connected, visit our new website  ( , join one of our IPTOP committees and keep on the good work.  

Thank you, stay safe and stay together. 

Hans Hobbelen 

President IPTOP

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