Residents in private old age homes (POAHs) usually adopt a sedentary lifestyle, making them prone to physical deconditioning. This study examined the effects of a short-term mobility exercise programme on the balance and mobility of elderly residents residing in POAHs in Hong Kong. Subjects recruited from three POAHs were matched in demographic characteristics and ambulatory status before assigning them to either a mobility exercise (M) programme or control (C) programme of general exercise. Both programmes consisted of 18 sessions that were conducted three times a week over two months. The subjects' mobility and balance performance before, mid-term, at completion of the programmes and three months afterward was evaluated using the 4-metre walk (4MW) test, timed up-and-go (TUG) test and the Berg Balance Scale (BBS). Ten and eight subjects completed the M and C programmes, respectively. The M group did not demonstrate improvement in 4MW, TUG or BBS score at completion of the programme. At 3 months after the programme, only the C group experienced a significant decrease in BBS score (p = 0.02). The short M programme did not significantly improve the mobility and balance performance of elderly residents of POAHs, but the performance appeared to be maintained for three months after the programme stopped. Randomized studies on longer programmes with revised protocols are recommended.
- Old age home
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation