OTTAWA — Impending changes to Ontario’s funding model will make it difficult for many of the 51,000 seniors who live in retirement homes to access medically necessary physiotherapy, an industry group says.

The changes will also sharply reduce the number of publicly funded physiotherapy treatments for seniors, Tony Melles, executive director of the Designated Physiotherapy Clinics Association, said in an interview Tuesday.

In April, the province announced it would provide more than 200,000 people — mostly seniors — with improved access to physiotherapy, exercise and falls prevention classes. The changes, effective Aug. 1, would raise to 500,000 the number receiving such care, it said.