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Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy C. Edwards and Virendra K. Bharti

For seniors, an inactive lifestyle can result in declines in mental and physical functioning, loss of independence, and poorer quality of life. This cross-sectional descriptive study examined theory-of-planned-behavior, health-status, and sociodemographic predictors on exercise intention and behavior among 109 older and physically frail adults. Significant predictors of being a high versus a low active were a strong intention to continue exercising, positive indirect attitudes about exercise, and having been advised by a doctor to exercise. Findings indicate that a strong intention to continue exercising differentiates between those who report low levels and those who report high levels of physical activity. The results also highlight the salience of physician’s advice for seniors to exercise.

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Edited by Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

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Debra J. Rose

In recent years, a number of research investigations have been conducted in an effort to determine whether declining balance and mobility among older adults can be reversed or at least slowed. Unfortunately, the results of a number of these studies have not yielded positive outcomes. Three reasons are forwarded to account for these unsuccessful outcomes: the lack of a contemporary theory-based approach to the problem, the failure to use multiple and diverse measures of balance and mobility, and the failure to design multidimensional interventions that target the actual source(s) of the balance or mobility-related impairments. A model fall-risk-reduction program designed to address each of the shortcomings associated with previous research findings is presented. The program is group based and suitable for implementation in community-based and residential care facilities.

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Marcia S. Marx, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield and Jack M. Guralnik

The article describes the process of identifying 100 community-dwelling elderly adults at risk for physical disability, yet not functionally disabled, for participation in a research project to develop appropriate exercise programs for at-risk elderly. Over a period of 14 months, initial contact was made with 941 older adults, 11% of whom (101 people) were eligible for and willing to complete all stages of the study protocol. The most successful recruitment strategies were a mass mailing followed by a telephone call and advertising in a newspaper with a large circulation (rather than a local paper). Aspects of the recruitment and retention of study participants are discussed.

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Jill N. Schulte and Kevin E. Yarasheski

Advancing age is associated with a reduction in skeletal muscle protein, muscle strength, muscle quality, and chemical modifications that may impair protein function. Sarcopenia has been coupled with physical disability, frailty, and a loss of independent function (5, 19). Using stable isotope tracer methodologies and mass spectrometric detection, we observed: (a) 76–92-year-old physically frail and 62–74-year-old middle-age adults have lower mixed muscle protein synthetic rates than 20–32-year-old men and women; (b) 2 weeks and 3 months of weightlifting exercise increased the synthetic rate of myosin heavy chain (MHC) and mixed muscle proteins to a similar magnitude in frail, middle-age, and young women and men; (c) Serum myostatin-immunoreactive protein levels were elevated in physically frail women and were inversely correlated with lean mass. This suggests that the protein synthetic machinery adapts rapidly to increased contractile activity and that the adaptive response(s) are maintained even in frail elders.

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Fuzhong Li, K. John Fisher, Peter Harmer and Machiko Shirai

Low-impact exercise that appeals to elderly adults and can be done almost anywhere provides both societal and individual benefits. One such program is Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese dancelike conditioning exercise. The article presents an easily adopted and adapted 8-form Tai Chi program (Easy Tai Chi) designed for older adults or individuals with mobility challenges or physical impairments. Derived from a simplified 24-form Yang-style Tai Chi, it stresses postural control and body-limb rotational movements. Easy Tai Chi can be performed either standing or sitting, depending on the physical and functional limitations of participants. Preliminary data indicate a number of health benefits of Easy Tai Chi compared with a traditional exercise program. Although subject to further empirical evaluation, Easy Tai Chi can be applied in research settings to investigate prevention or amelioration of hypokinetic diseases and in clinical settings to treat physically frail seniors or others with functional impairments of the musculoskeletal or cardiovascular system.

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Pedro Lopez, Mikel Izquierdo, Regis Radaelli, Graciele Sbruzzi, Rafael Grazioli, Ronei Silveira Pinto and Eduardo Lusa Cadore

physically frail older people may present reduced perceptions of intensity, and, therefore, RPE may underestimate the workload during RT, which could potentially attenuate increases in maximum strength. Usual gait speed is highly relevant to health due to its strong association with risk of falls

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Michael P. Corcoran, Miriam E. Nelson, Jennifer M. Sacheck, Kieran F. Reid, Dylan Kirn, Roger A. Fielding, Kenneth K.H. Chui and Sara C. Folta

.A. , Charpentier , P.A. , de Regt , P.T. , & Wallace , S.J. ( 2003 ). A prehabilitation program for physically frail community-living older persons . Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 84 ( 3 ), 394 – 404 . PubMed doi: 10.1053/apmr.2003.50020 Gill , T.M. , Baker , D.I. , Gottschalk

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Tim Henwood, Sharon Hetherington, Madeleine Purss, Kevin Rouse, Julie Morrow and Michele Smith

training with and without additional group training in physically frail old people living at home: Effect on health-related quality of life and ambulation . Clinical Rehabilitation, 18 ( 5 ), 498 . PubMed ID: 15293484 doi:10.1191/0269215504cr761oa 10.1191/0269215504cr761oa Hill , K.D. , Hunter , S

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Thiago Correa Porto Gonçalves, Atila Alexandre Trapé, Jhennyfer Aline Lima Rodrigues, Simone Sakagute Tavares and Carlos Roberto Bueno Junior

different exercise interventions on risk of falls, gait ability, and balance in physically frail older adults: A systematic review . Rejuvenation Research, 16 ( 2 ), 105 – 114 . doi: 10.1089/rej.2012.1397 PubMed ID: 23327448 Campisi , J. ( 2013 ). Aging, cellular senescence, and cancer . Annual