Nurses can increase independence and quality of life as well as reduce social isolation in older patients by promoting exercise.
A 12-week community fitness programme for the over 60s was found to motivate and encourage individuals to continue with regular physical activity after they completed the intervention.
The research, published in Nursing Older People, involved 42 Liverpool residents aged 60 and older with a variety of physical and mental health conditions, including arthritis, dementia, and high cholesterol.
Twenty-five participants were allocated to the exercise intervention group and 17 to the comparison group.
Those in the intervention group reported improved health and wellbeing as a result of attending the 12-week programme and maintained their exercise levels for up to 12 months afterwards. They also reported quick strength and power gains.
Participants stated their knowledge about exercise and its benefits had increased since taking part in the programme.
The authors concluded that nurses can motivate older people to access such programmes by using their skills and knowledge to support them.
Effects of a 12-week community exercise programme on older people, Ricky Wallace, Carolyn Lees, Massoumeh Minou, Diane Singleton, Gareth Stratton., Nursing Older People, DOI.org/10.7748/nop2014.02.26.1.20.e508, published online 31 January 2014.