The conversations of life

New Queensland home exercise trial sees 20 per cent drop in ‘frail’ aged care residents

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The active@home program also saw a 47 per cent fall in participants’ dependence on healthcare services during the 18-week trial, an Australian-first in which trained personal care workers supported aged care clients to exercise regularly and safely in their own homes.

A joint project of Burnie Brae Ltd and Brisbane North PHN’s community aged care consortium, the program saw 37 participants taking part at least five days a week on average.

The result? All of the participants recorded improved balance, better leg strength and more ability to do things for themselves.  They also reported feeling less anxious and depressed.

Giving older people a new lease on life.

It’s a great result – one that the researchers say proves that inexpensive, in-home exercise programs can be incorporated into aged care services.

The program also requires a bare minimum of exercise equipment – taking away an important barrier that can stop older people from exercising.

The initiative now hope to take the trial to other aged care providers and we think it’s a great idea.

The fact is most of us don’t get enough physical exercise – at any age. In the latest Australian Health Survey, 20 per cent of Aussie adults said they didn’t do any kind of regular physical activity, while over a third spent less than 1.5 hours per week being physically active.

But with more of us wanting to stay at home as we age – and live independently – programs like this could be key to cutting our need for aged care.

Credit: Brisbane North PHN

Jill Donaldson

A practising aged care physiotherapist for the past 13 years, Jill has worked in more than 50 metropolitan and regional aged care homes. She has also toured care facilities across the US and Africa. She is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff that serve them.


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