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Exercise can help older people stay independent and mentally well, says NICE

8 December 2016 - 10:20am

Older people who are at risk of losing their independence, or of a decline in mental wellbeing, should be offered tailored exercise in the community.

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The standard recommends activities such strength and resistance exercises

This is according to a new quality standard published on 5 December by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

It focuses on interventions that could help to maintain and improve the independence and mental wellbeing of people aged 65 or older.

CSP professional adviser Carley King said: ‘Physiotherapy can have a massive role in sign-posting older people to activities they can participate in and be part of the local community.

‘To some, this might not seem relevant to the physio role, but it’s all part of making every contact count.’

Improving quality of life

The standard suggests that older people deemed at risk should be offered community-based activities that reflect their preferences. These could include dancing, walking and swimming, strength and resistance exercises designed for frail older people, and toning and stretching exercises.

NICE adds that an additional benefit of older people taking part in such schemes is that they could reduce the risk of loneliness and social isolation.

Ms King said: ‘Public health is about the wider social determinants that have a real effect on our patients’ quality of life, and reducing the risk of loneliness and social isolation is something that we can influence.’

The standard also advises that at risk older people should be identified by service providers and offered a range of activities to build or maintain social participation.

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