Groningen, the Netherlands
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 (www.IPTOP-Physio.org) , join one of our IPTOP committees and keep on the good work.
Thank you, stay safe and stay together.