161494 Fitness for older adult women: A community based demonstration program

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Marjorie A. Getz, MA, MPHIL , Center for Learning Assistance, Bradley University, Peoria, IL
Kathy Anthony, BA , Department of Psychology, Bradley University, Peoria, IL
Joan Krupa , Heartland Community Health Clinic, Peoria, IL
M. Barbara Campbell , Marketing Department, Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Peoria, IL
Exercise is defined as planned, structured, repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness. Research shows that 47% of older (over age 60) white women and 61% of older black women do not engage in regular exercise. This collaborative demonstration project between two health care facilities (one an FQHC and one an institution for physical medicine and rehabilitation) and a local university developed from an ongoing community-based fall prevention program. Ten women, ages 54-80, received scholarship funds to attend individually tailored exercise classes. Over an 8 months period, average attendance was 6.3 times per month (out of 8-9 possible classes each month). Each participant received a comprehensive initial physical assessment. During the program, regular measures of changes in strength, flexibility, functional capacity, blood pressure readings and abdominal fat were taken. In addition, cognitive-emotional ratings (confusion, anxiety, mood, emotions, self-perception, overall well-being) and impact assessments (changes in sleep patterns, mobility, falls, bodily well-being) were made. Finally, rankings of possible benefits and relevance of exercise to the participant were collected as well as an assessment of likelihood of continuing exercise at the end of the program. Results showed that nine of ten women were able to continue the program until completion. Each person showed marked improvements in physical capacity and reported high levels of satisfaction with the program, improved quality of life measures and self-perception of bodily well-being. Home exercise programs have been designed and additional funding sought to allow expansion of this successful program.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, participants will 1. have an increased awareness of the impact of deconditioning on physical and emotional health of vital women; 2. appreciate the benefits to be realized from strategic alliances developed to enhance the well being of older adult women living in the community; and 3. have an increased understanding of the benefits of simple, cost-effective measures that increase physical activity and fitness in older women.

Keywords: Aging, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.