Effects of an Exercise and Mental Activity Program for People With Dementia and Their Care Partners

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Exercise and mental stimulation may improve cognition, physical function, and well-being of people with dementia (PWD) and older adults more generally. This study evaluated changes in physical function, physical activity, exercise self-efficacy, and mental well-being with participation in Minds in Motion®, a weekly exercise and mental stimulation program for PWD (n = 343) and care partners (n = 318). Most physical function measures improved among PWD and care partners (endurance, upper and lower body strength, upper body flexibility; ps ≤ .009). Participants also reported a significant increase in weekly frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activity (ps < .001) and in mental well-being (p < .001). Exercise self-efficacy did not change (p = .16). These results suggest that Minds in Motion® yields improvements in physical function, which may translate into better functional abilities for PWD and improved ability for their partners to care for people living with dementia.

Regan and Middleton are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. White and Harvey are with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Laura E. Middleton at laura.middleton@uwaterloo.ca.
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