Exercise and older adults receiving home care services

Elissa Burton, Anne Marie Hill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Millions of older adults across the world receive regular home care services to enable them to continue living independently in the community and avoid requiring admission into residential aged care. Older adults receiving home care services frequently have multiple chronic conditions, be they physical, cognitive, or psychosocial and hence health and home services, both private and public funded, provide tailored support to assist them to complete daily living tasks. There is strong, established evidence that exercise, and more broadly physical activity, improves and maintains older adults’ cardiorespiratory fitness, bone strength, healthy body mass, cognitive function, strength, and balance; all aspects that are important for maintaining functional ability, physical mobility, health-related quality of life and preventing falls. This chapter provides an overview of the context of home care services and systems, particularly those in Australia, including short-term (e.g., reablement and restorative care) and long-term (ongoing home care) services available to assist and enable older adults to remain living independently in the community. Physical activity guidelines for older adults, including the recent World Health Organization recommendations (2020) are then summarized. Evidence regarding best practice for engagement in exercise and physical activity, including barriers and enablers to participation specifically for older adults receiving home care are reviewed. The increasing incidence of falls in this population is also discussed, particularly in the context of safety in the home. Finally, recommendations for clinicians and those prescribing exercise or physical activity to older adults receiving home care services are summarized. Advice for older adults receiving home care and their families about how they can become more physically active and maintain their functional independence and ability to live independently is also provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExercise to Prevent and Manage Chronic Disease Across the Lifespan
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780323885768
ISBN (Print)9780323898430
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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