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One thing that draws people to work in physiotherapy is the diversity of career options. It’s a speciality that has a key role to play across the full circle of life – and for aged care physiotherapist, Greg Bowman, nothing is more rewarding than caring for his older patients.

“For me, working in aged care is what everything that physiotherapy is all about, and what I wish more people knew about physiotherapy.”

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“We don’t just care for injuries; we prevent injuries from happening. But it’s even more than that. Physiotherapy is about caring for the whole person. It is true holistic care.”

“We get to know our patients. What their interests are, what their goals are, and we tailor support for them.”

“For the elderly, maintaining independence is just so important. When we are younger, it’s something we take for granted.”

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“You don’t think twice about having a shower, getting dressed, picking up the cat, or going down the stairs. We take it for granted.”

“But when you can’t do those daily living activities, it is absolutely crippling, really.”

“So along with helping patients with pain management and manual therapies and all that jazz, we also run programs to support mobility, balance, strength and physical independence.”

“That’s helping people live well. And for me, that’s such a terrific feeling.”

For Mr Bowman, physiotherapy has not always been his vocation. 

“I actually was a sales manager before, believe it or not, for many years. And it just wasn’t making me happy. I didn’t like going to work every day and it was draining me.”

“Outside of work, I’ve always played rugby, I lived for it. Then I got a bad injury, and I could not play for a long time.”

“As a result, I became overweight and was diagnosed with depression. I saw a physiotherapist, and she turned my life around.”

“It gave me back my sense of self, not just my physicality.”

“That was the ‘aha’ moment when I realised I wanted to be able to do that too.”

He said re-training in his late 30s was not as easy as he would have imagined.

“It certainly wasn’t for the faint hearted. I had a young family at the time so it was hard to juggle. But they kept me motivated.”

“I think I also did better in the course thanI would have as a young lad. I didn’t have that level of focus when I was younger – my priorities were very different then shall we say!”

Mr Bowman’s advice for others wanting to get into physiotherapy echo what many others have said.

“First and foremost, go and see a physio yourself.”

“No point thinking you want to do this, without actually not experiencing it first hand.”

“Go and see what they do. Talk to them about what it’s like and what it involves. That’ll give you the best idea about whether it’s right for you.”

Apart from helping people everyday, Mr Bowman enjoys the continuous learning and development offered by physiotherapy.

“It keeps my mind active. There’s so much knowledge to take in.”

“I always schedule ‘reading time’ into my calendar. We’ve always got new research and guidance coming through, and it’s exciting that we can take that information and apply it to our practice for our patients.”

Mr Bowman also encouraged more physiotherapists to consider a career in aged care.

“You really get the most out of your learning and skills there.”

“And you build relationships with your patients, but not just with them, but you get to know their families, their children and grandchildren.”

“All physiotherapy involves that relationship building, but it’s really on another level in aged care.”

“So if that’s your jam, definitely consider working in aged care.”

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Charlotte Mitchell

Charlotte is a published journalist and editor, with 10 years of experience in developing high-quality content for national and international publications.

With an academic background in both science and communications, she specialises in medical and science writing. Charlotte is passionate about creating engaging, evidence-based content that equips the community with important information on issues around healthcare, medicine and research.

Over the years, she has partnered with organisations including the Medical Journal of Australia, Cancer Council NSW, Bupa, the Australasian Medical Publishing Company, Dementia Australia, MDA National, pharmaceutical companies, and state and federal government agencies, to produce high-impact news and clinical content  for different audiences.