Seated and safe or active and engaged

Seminar group

This interactive workshop series, “Seated and safe or active and engaged”, challenges the perceptions of who can benefit from exercise said Associate Professor Gaynor Parfitt at a workshop at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney on October 20.

Results from the evaluation of a 12-week person-centred evaluation program shows the importance of regular exercise to improve the lives of the elderly. “It is often considered that elderly people with dementia can’t engage in exercise and wouldn’t benefit from it,” she said.

There are barriers and opportunities to conducting exercise programs for people with dementia in aged care. “We are all too well aware of the barriers such as insufficient staff and time and lack of training and equipment,” said Associate Professor Parfitt, as she outlined the exercise program evaluation, funded by the CDPC.

Megan Corlis, Director Research Helping Hand Aged Care in South Australia where a pilot of the exercise program was conducted said, "we as a society have responsibility to provide vulnerable older people with exercise".

“How we treat and care for elderly vulnerable people with dementia in aged care is a concern for all of us, whether it be through an older relative facing it, or one day, ourselves,” she said.

Dr Dannielle Post, based in the School of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia presented the quantitative data that showed participants had improved cognition, engagement and behaviour after the program.

“The qualitative insights from the evaluation were also important. After the program care staff and family members had positive comments on how the program resulted in more engagement and the effects of mood lifting,” Dr Post said.

The workshop concluded with an exercise to create a “Wellness Profile” for prospective participants as the basis for customising the person-centred exercise program.

This workshop is be held in Perth on 30 November, more here.

seminar audience