IPTOP representatives

About representatives for your country

Australia: Stephanie Fu

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) is the peak body representing the interests of Australian physiotherapists and their patients. The APA is a national organisation with non-autonomous state and territory branches and specialty subgroups. The APA offers members advanced training and the possibility of collegial support from physiotherapists working in a similar area through its 14 national groups. The gerontology group (Gerontology Physiotherapy Australia) is one of the national groups/subgroups and is open to all members with an interest working with older people in a variety of settings. It consisted of around 550 members nationally. Gerontological physiotherapists work and participate in diverse settings including, acute care hospitals, community and home-based programs, residential aged care facilities, rehabilitation facilities, hydrotherapy pools, and falls and balance clinics. Gerontological physiotherapists also contribute to the research and education sector, as well as carry out significant work in many rural and remote areas. Areas in gerontology consist of palliative care, vestibular rehabilitation, continence management, lymphoedema management, falls prevention, and hydrotherapy. Stephanie is the immediate past president of Gerontology Physiotherapy Australia and first gerontological specialist physiotherapist via the Australian College of Physiotherapists.

Austria: Constance Schlegl

The Professional Network for Older People (FN Geriatrie) is part of Physio Austria, the only official Physiotherapy Association in Austria. It has 25 members all over the country. Constance is an expert for Older People and Public Health and specialised in the area of falls prevention. She is the Chair of the FN Geriatrie and the link to IPTOP.

Belgium: Jean Van Hoornweder

In Belgium, the Physical Therapy Association (AXXON) is the official professional organisation for all physical therapists in both parts of Belgium (divided by two different languages). The Axxon BCIG Geriatrics (Belgian Clinical Interest Group) is a group within AXXON for those therapists working with older adults (of which there are 12 different sections or special interest groups). The representative is the liaison between the Axxon BCIG Geriatrics and IPTOP.

Canada: Sonya Vani

In Canada, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) is the official professional organisation for all physiotherapists. It is voluntary to be a member of CPA. CPA has Branches that represent each province, and Divisions, which represent various clinical specialty areas. The Seniors Health Division (SHD) is a subgroup of the CPA for therapists working with older adults. The CPA SHD has over 500 members. The representative is the Chair of the SHD and serves as the liaison between the CPA SHD and IPTOP.  

Denmark: Hanne Anderson

Hanne represents the Danish Association of Physiotherapy in Gerontology and Geriatrics. The Association of Danish Physiotherapists (DF) is the political and organisational body for all physiotherapists in Denmark. Members of DF with an professional interest or working in geriatrics and/or gerontology can pay a registration to be a member of the Danish Society of Physiotheraphy in Gerontology and Geriatrics (DSFGG). This is a subgroup of the Danish Society of Physical Therapy (DSF), which is a society that organize professional interest groups in Physical Therapy in Denmark.

Finland: Pauline Iiskala

The Association represents the whole of Finland; members mainly work in the public field. Pauline is the Vice President and IPTOP representative member.

Germany: Susanne Schulz

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Greece: Dimitrios Vasmaris

The Greek Geriatric Physiotherapy Group (GGPG) is a Scientific Department of the Panhellenic Physiotherapists' Association (PPTA).  The mission and the objective of the scientific section are: "the provision, as much as possible, of the highest physiotherapy services to the elderly, with continuous training and information for its members".  Our slogan is: "Zin and Ef Zin" (means living and living good).  Age is a period of Life. They deserve to enjoy it!  Increasing population of the elderly, with an ever-increasing pace, brought the science of physiotherapy to the forefront and physiotherapists with specialised knowledge and skills to respond to the challenge of preventing and restoring health of the elderly.  Purpose of GGPG: the development of continuing education programs of physiotherapists, on the effects of aging on health and methods and techniques of rehabilitation, research and documentation of methods in clinical practice, the development of a database and e-journals on best practices in the prevention of falls, the improvement of cardio-respiratory function, the prevention of sarcopenia and osteoporosis, and exercise for seniors, the establishment of an information network and the development of cooperation with older people, focusing on the education of the elderly to adopt activities and active lifestyle, which have benefits on health, preserving independence and improving quality of life.  In this direction, Scientific Department of Geriatric Physiotherapy will seek collaborations with scientific organisations of other health professionals.  Dimitrios Vasmaris is the coordinator-chairman of GGPG and its representative in IPTOP.

Iceland: Nanna Guðný Sigurðardóttir

In Iceland, the Icelandic Physiotherapy Association (FS) is the official professional organisation for all physical therapists. FSÖ, is a subgroup of the FS for those therapists working with older adults (there are a few other sections or special interest groups). Nanna is the liaison between the FSÖ and IPTOP.

Ireland: Grace Coakley

In Ireland, the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) is the professional body for chartered physiotherapists and there are clinical interest groups with committees within the ISCP. The CPNG is the clinical interest group for both neurology and gerontology and so has a very wide range of issues to discuss. Grace sits on the CPNG committee and is the link person between the ISCP and IPTOP.

Italy: Marco Da Roit

The Italian Physiotherapy Association (AIFI) is the WCPT Member Organization for Italy. The “Gruppo di Interesse Specialistico di Fisioterapia Geriatrica” (GIS GFG), is AIFI’s special interest group in gerontological physiotherapy. Founded by 15 members in 2013, the group now has 170 members. The mission of the group is to spread best practices and research in gerontological physiotherapy to the health care system and physiotherapy practice in Italy.

Japan: Yukio Urabe

The Japanese Physical Therapy Association (JPTA) is the official professional organisation for all physical therapists in Japan. The Japanese Society of Physical Therapy for Prevention (JSPTP) is an official subgroup of the JPTA for those therapists working with older people (there are many other sections or special interests groups). The JSPTP has over 8,000 members. Japan's aging rate (the ratio of the population aged 65 and older to the total population) has exceeded 20%, ahead of any other country in the world. The JSPTP are trying to cope with Sarcopenia, Frailty and other geriatric disease, and also contribute to the research and education sector. The representative is the liaison between the JSPTP and IPTOP. 

Malta: Stephen Lungaro-Mifsud

The Malta Association of Physiotherapists (MAP) is the recognised professional organisation for all physiotherapists in Malta. Active for Life (AFL) is an official subgroup of MAP for those members who have a keen clinical or research interest in later life health care. Stephen is the Chair of AFL and its representative to IPTOP.

Netherlands: Laura den Boeft

The Royal Dutch Association for Physical Therapy (KNGF) is the official professional organisation for all physical therapists in the Netherlands. The Dutch association for geriatric physiotherapy (NVFG) is an official subgroup of the KNGF for those therapists working with older adults (there are many other sections or special interest groups). The vast majority of the NVFG members are specialised physiotherapists with an officially recognised degree in geriatric physiotherapy. The remaining members are students or physiotherapists with an interest in working with older people.

New Zealand: Liz Binns

Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ) is the professional body for all physiotherapists in New Zealand. Members of PNZ with an interest or working in gerontology can pay a registration to be a member of Physiotherapy for the Older Adult Special Interest Group (OASIG), which is a subgroup of PNZ.

Singapore: Sin Yi Lee

The Singapore Physiotherapy Association Geriatric Chapter started in November 2011. We seek to provide a platform to bring physical therapists in Singapore together to share, learn and collaborate in clinical, education or research settings, aiming to enhance quality care for older people in Singapore. Sin Yi is the chair and liaison between the Chapter and IPTOP.

Slovenia: Danielle Jagodic

The Slovenian Association of Physiotherapists was established in 1954. It is the official professional association for physiotherapists in Slovenia. Slovenia has about 1,200 active physiotherapists, about half of them are members of the association. Physiotherapy students and retired physiotherapists are also eligible to join the Association. The association covers 6 regions of the country and has a number of sub-groups, among them is The Section for physiotherapists in geriatry, established in November 2015. The members are physiotherapists working with older people in different health and social care services or with a special interest in elders. Prior to this the Section was an interest group for physiotherapists working in long-term care facilities. Danielle is the elected chair of this section, and acts as the liaison between the section and IPTOP.

Sweden: Lena Ziden

In Sweden, the Swedish Physical Therapy Association is the official professional organisation for all physical therapists, and currently has 12,000 members. As one of 16 professional sections we have one for physical therapists working with old people called Health of the Elderly, with around 1,300 members. Lena is the chair of the board of this section, and together with Gillian Asplin, acts as the liaison between this section and IPTOP.

Switzerland: Christine Frey

The FPG (Fachgruppe Physiotherapie in der Geriatrie) is a sub-group of the Swiss Society of Geriatrics (SGG), not the Physioswiss (Swiss Association of Physiotherapy). Chrstine, as the elected representative, acts as the link between FPG and IPTOP. Christine has a Master’s Degree in Geriatrics, and operates her own Physical Therapy clinic practice. Christine is active in the development of a variety of projects with the Executive Board of the Physiotherapy Specialist Group/Swiss Society of Gerontology and its wider Network, including universities, regional instituitions and non profit organisations.

Turkey: Filiz Can

The Turkish Geriatric Physiotherapy Association is an official professional organisation for physiotherapists working with older people in Turkey, linked with the parent professional organisation. The executives include members who are specialist in different aspect of physiotherapy for older people-like geriatrics, geriatric orthopaedics, geriatric cardiopulmonary, geriatric neurology, prosthetics etc - to provide interdisciplinary models in physiotherapy for older people in multidisciplinary teams for geriatric care. Filiz is the General Secretary of the Turkish Geriatric Physiotherapy Association and the representative delegate for Turkey in IPTOP.

UK: Janet Thomas

In the UK, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is the official professional organisation for physiotherapists. The older person’s Professional Network, a subgroup of the CSP for those therapists working with older adults is called AGILE. Janet is the liaison between IPTOP and AGILE.

USA: Lisa Dehner

In the US, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is the official professional organisation for all physical therapists. The Section on Geriatrics, is a subgroup of the APTA for those therapists working with older adults (there are many other sections or special interest groups). Lisa is the liaison between the Section on Geriatrics and IPTOP.