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Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Nursing homes in motion - first results from a model project sponsored by the Wilhelm-Woort foundation

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author M. Dittmar - Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
  • B. Schumann-Schmid - Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa012

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Dittmar et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Several studies investigated the effects of physical training on free-living older adults. In con-trast, data on training of elderly nursing home residents are scarce. Therefore, the aims of this model project are (1) to develop and establish a physical intervention programme which is designed to preserve and reactivate physical mobility of nursed adults, (2) to train nursing staff (shorted version of the training programme) in order to continue the training programme with the residents (internal aspect), (3) to integrate sports clubs as external multiplicators for continuous training. The main characteristics of the model project are (1) to carry out the training programme in a large group immediately before lunch in order to reduce the work for the nursing staff to bring and bring back the residents (results of the Ulmer model); also, it is not necessary to motivate the residents to leave their rooms for taking part in the programme (results of the model project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontologie und Geriatrie), (2) to perform a frequency of training at 3-5 days per week lasting 30 minutes over six months, (3) to collect data three months after finishing the intervention programme. The study was conducted in five urban nursing homes in Mainz. Participants were frail elderly residents fol-lowing specific inclusion criteria. The 6-month supervised exercising by trained experts was designed to train muscular strength, flexibility, balance, body perception and memory. More-over, specific tests were performed to characterize the residents (Activities of Daily Living, Instrumental Activity of Daily Living, Timed Up and Go, Physical Performance Battery, Ti-netti-Test, 2-Minutes Walk, Mini Mental State Examination, Clock Completion Test, Social Situation after Nikolaus). Data were collected for all variables at baseline, after three and six months as well as three months after finishing the intervention programme. The main results are: (1) Five nursing homes took part in the intervention programme. Practically, the mobility programme could be offered 2-3 times per week. 77 persons (68 females, 9 males, aged 61-101 years, mean age 84.9 years) participated at least 1-2 times per week for 30 minutes over six months in the training programme. Nursing degrees were 1-3 out of 0-3 degrees. Mostly, those residents benefited from the training programme who took part more than 20 times dur-ing six months. (2) 82 female and male nurses in the five nursing homes have been trained. They were introduced in the short version of the training programme. (3) In all five nursing homes, a continuation of the training programme could be established by nursing staff and/or sports clubs, financed by the nursing homes themselves. (4) In addition, a fall risk assessment of elderly home residents was established. Residents at high risk have been identified and joined to a special programme in order to prevent falls.