Developing a Movement Program with Music for Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The authors developed a program for older adults to improve spatial awareness and sense of balance while promoting person-environment interaction. Motivating Moves, a 20-min program of 14 movement sequences set to original music, was offered to 4 groups of older adults (N = 66, mean age = 80.97, SD = 7.34) during 6 weekly 1-hr sessions. Participants learned new movements during the First 5 weeks, and all movements were reviewed in the 6th week. Program evaluation was based on attendance-pattern data, self-report measures of program satisfaction, and focus-group interviews. Approximately 64% of enrollees (n = 42) completed the program, and attendance rates were high (>89%) for these individuals. Participants reported benefits of Motivating Moves’, such as enhanced posture awareness, improved sense of balance, and increased social interaction. Issues related to developing and offering a movement program with music are reviewed, with attention to potential difficulties and suggestions for program implementation.

Cynthia S. Teel is an associate professor at the University of Kansas, School of Nursing, Kansas City, KS 66160-7502. Paula Carson is an associate professor at South Dakota State University, School of Nursing, Brookings, SD 57007. Janet Hamburg is a director of dance at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045. Alicia Ann Clair is a professor and director of music therapy at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045.