active@home: Investigating the Value of a Home Care Worker–Led Exercise Program for Older Adults With Complex Care Needs

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Exercise has proven health benefits for older adults independent of age, disability, and disease. However, barriers to exercise participation exist, including travel to, and access to, appropriate facilities and programs. Evidence shows that in-home exercise delivered by allied health professionals can improve physical health and prolong independence among individuals with government supported aged care packages. A less costly alternative is program delivery by home care workers. However, effective training for workers and resources to guide the consumer is required. This project evaluated an exercise training module for home care workers and a consumer resource to promote in-home exercise participation among older Australians with government supported aged care packages. Outcomes included a significant improvement in functional capacity as measured by the short physical performance battery (mean increase of 1.4 points), a 19% reduction in participants classified as frail and a reduction in healthcare service access of 47% across the intervention.

Henwood is with Southern Cross Care SA & NT, Adelaide, Australia; and The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Hetherington, Purss, and Rouse are with Burnie Brae Ltd, Brisbane, Australia. Morrow and Smith are with Brisbane North PHN, Brisbane, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Sharon Hetherington at hetherington.s@burniebrae.org.au.
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