Henwood (2015) Physical and functional implications of aquatic exercise for nursing home residents with dementia

Abstract
Exercise has reported benefits for those with dementia. In the current study we investigated the feasibility of delivery and the physical and functional benefits of an innovative aquatic exercise program for adults with moderate to severe dementia living in a nursing home aged care facility. Ten adults (88.4 years, inter quartile range 12.3) participated twice weekly for 12 weeks. Anthropometric and grip strength data, and measures of physical function and balance were collected at baseline and postintervention. Feasibility was assessed by attendance, participation, enjoyment and recruitment. Following exercise, participant’s left hand grip strength had improved significantly (p ¼ .017). Small to moderate effect sizes were observed for other measures. A number of delivery challenges emerged, but participant enjoyment, benefits and attendance suggest feasibility. Aquatic exercise shows promise as an intervention among those with dementia who live in a nursing home aged care facility. Greater program investigation is warranted.

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Abstract Exercise has reported benefits for those with dementia. In the current study we investigated the feasibility of delivery and the physical and functional benefits of an innovative aquatic exercise program for adults with moderate to severe dementia living in a nursing home aged care facility. Ten adults (88.4 years, inter quartile range 12.3) participated twice weekly for 12 weeks. Anthropometric and grip strength data, and measures of physical function and balance were collected at baseline and postintervention. Feasibility was assessed by attendance, participation, enjoyment and recruitment. Following exercise, participant’s left hand grip strength had improved significantly (p ¼ .017). Small to moderate effect sizes were observed for other measures. A number of delivery challenges emerged, but participant enjoyment, benefits and attendance suggest feasibility. Aquatic exercise shows promise as an intervention among those with dementia who live in a nursing home aged care facility. Greater program investigation is warranted.