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Adults with dementia can appropriately engage in a strengthening exercise program

Sharon D. Rogers, PhD, Shannon E. Jarrott, PhD


Background/rationale: A group-based exercise program has the potential to promote physical, psychological, and social health of participants. This study intended to document that an exercise intervention, designed for delivery and achievability in dementia care centers, could effectively engage participants with dementia.
Methods: An exercise program for residents of two dementia care facilities was designed and implemented. The centers’ activity directors led the programs three times per week for 12 weeks. Using a modified protocol of the Menorah Park Engagement Scale and a quantitative assessment of participants’ accurate performance of exercises, participants’ (n = 17) overall engagement in the prescribed exercise routine were evaluated.
Results: Results indicated that nearly all participants were constructively engaged and appropriately performed exercises through the entirety of each session.
Conclusions: Individuals with dementia retain the capability to constructively and appropriately participate in a group-based strengthening exercise intervention. The intervention can be readily replicated at facilities serving adults with dementia.


therapeutic activities, environmental press, quality of life, exercise and dementia

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