A Scalable Program for Improving Physical Activity in Older People with Dementia Including Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Groups Who Receive Home Support: A Feasibility Study

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Abstract

Home care clients with dementia/cognitive impairment are typically functionally dependent and physically inactive. We pilot-tested a co-designed physical exercise program for its feasibility, safety, adherence and potential for benefits on physical activity, physical function, healthcare use and falls. Trained community care support workers delivered a 12-week home exercise program to clients with dementia/cognitive impairment, once weekly for 15 min during care shifts, supplemented by carers' supervision of exercises for 30 min, three times weekly. A physiotherapist provided fortnightly phone support to ensure safety and exercise progression. Baseline and Week 12 assessments using validated scales for physical activity, physical function, daily living independence, falls efficacy, quality of life, self-reported healthcare use, falls and sleep quality were undertaken. Differences were examined with regression analyses. Care support workers (n = 26) and client/carer dyads (n = 26 and 80.8% culturally and linguistically diverse) participated. Participants recorded adverse events/falls and exercises in dairies. Fifteen dyads completed the program. No falls/adverse events occurred with the exercises. The adherence rates against targets for exercise time completed and days in which exercise were undertaken for support workers were 137%/79.6%, and for client/carer dyads were 82%/104.8%, respectively. Physical activity participation, physical function and falls efficacy significantly improved at Week 12 compared to baseline. The feasibility, safety and adherence of the co-designed physical exercise program were demonstrated. Strategies to minimise dropouts in future effectiveness studies are required.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2023

Keywords

  • CALD
  • care support workers
  • cognitive impairment
  • culturally and linguistically diverse
  • dementia
  • exercise
  • falls
  • home care
  • physical activity
  • physical function

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