Can exercise help elderly to live longer at home?

Visitors from the Agathe project in GranåsenAgathe – Ageing At Home, is a Grundtvig Learning Partnership under the European Commission’s program for Lifelong Learning, and last month they came to visit us at CERG, and learn more about our project on exercise on elderly, Generation 100.

– We are five partners from Germany, Poland, Spain and Norway who visit each other and learn about how each country try to make it possible for elderly people to live longer at home. Our project aims at building in each country support structures for elder people’s self-determined living at home in structurally weak rural regions, i.e. to create good conditions in order to enable people to live longer at home, project leader Øivind Solheim explains.

Postdoctor at CERG Inger-Lise Aamot talking about heart rehabilitation for our visitors from The Agathe projectThe “seniors for seniors” project dedicates  to voluntary social and health care support services provided by active seniors for the elder ones. Joint development activities focus at a training curriculum for those volunteers in order to provide them with necessary knowledge and competences for their demanded activities.

Read also: Can exercise training prevent premature death in elderly?

They wanted to visit CERG to learn about the good effects physical exercise can have on elderly.

– Good health is an important factor for older people to enable them to live longer at home. The visit was very useful both for our project and for the participants personally. We felt that we learned something important about major health issues, Solheim says.

The visitors got a presentation of our group and our research, and a tour in our labs, and participated in a workout with participants from Generation 100 in Granåsen. The workout was with the group training with moderate intensity, and they went for a 4 km long walk in the forest.

Read also: Dementia and physical activity in elderly – what do we know?

Visitors from the Agathe project– We think that the results of CERG’s research and the activities and results from the Generasjon 100 project are important for the target group, the elderly, as well as for the population as a whole. And given that only 20 percent of the population are following the advice of 30 minutes of exercise a day it would be of great benefit if the Norwegian Health Directorate together with CERG launched a national information campaign where the CERG’s results were in focus. We also think that CERG’s research and work would be a good argument for increasing the number of hours reserved for physical activities and exercise in the kindergarten and in the school system. Thanks to Dorthe, Trine, Nina and Inger-Lise for a very interesting and inspiring visit, Solheim says on behalf of Agathe – ageing at home.

Read also: How to do research on old adults physical activity?

Dorthe Stensvold. Foto: Andrea Hegdahl TiltnesResearcher Dorthe Stensvold from CERG is leader for Generation 100, she finds the EU-project Agathe very interesting.

– Aging at home is an important focus, and being self-reliant is one of the main strategies to meet the challenges with an aging population. In addition, we think it is important that our group, CERG, share our knowledge on exercise training, and how that can influence health in elderly, she says.

She discussed the differences in activity level among elderly in Norway and the countries participating in Agathe (Spain, Polan and Germany) with our guests.

– I  got the impression that the activity level among elderly is higher in Norway than in the other European countries, and that the focus on exercise training, also among elderly, is more pronounced here, she says.

If, and how, physical activity can help elderly to live at home longer is one of the questions we hope to address with Generation 100. Stensvold really think exercise training is of significant importance, but points out that there is definitely also other important factors contributing to healthy aging.

– It was interesting to see how fit the participants in the moderate exercise training group from Generation 100 were, we had problem following them, she says.

Visitors from the Agathe project at the hospital area

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