A Needs Assessment for the Implementation of a Yoga Program within a Senior Living Facility
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRegular participation in an exercise regimen is an effective intervention to combat a number of functional declines associated with aging (e.g., impaired balance and mobility, reduced muscular strength, joint deterioration). Current guidelines recommend older adults engage in 30 minutes of low to moderate intense physical activity at least five days a week, however, less than one-third of the population follows this recommendation (Keadle et al., 2016). As the number of older adults grows exponentially, new and varied physical activities that encompass both aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening are necessary to support better patient care outcomes. Yoga is one such activity that has been shown to improve musculoskeletal strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and quality of life (Patel et al., 2011). The purpose of this DNP project is to explore interest in a yoga program aimed at improving balance at a senior living facility. This project utilized a descriptive design to assess 12 senior living residents’ knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes about yoga as a form of physical exercise. The results from this needs assessment indicate that the majority of older adults surveyed (67%) do not participate in the weekly recommendations for physical activity. This is consistent with the literature that states only one-third to half of older adults meet the physical activity guidelines. Furthermore, the data revealed that most residents (75%) would be interested in learning more about yoga as a new exercise modality to incorporate into their wellness plan. Barriers to trying yoga were among three themes identified (branding, accessibility, knowledge), while questions aimed to explore personal perceptions regarding yoga where categorized as physical, mental, or spiritual attributes. Understanding a population’s attitudes and perceptions about yoga will inform both the promotion and implementation of yoga programs. This data served as a pilot study to inform future research projects of the desire and need to implement new modalities such as yoga within senior living facilities with the common goal of minimizing functional decline as it relates to balance and the fear of falling. Future studies should aim to investigate the optimal type and length of a yoga program best suited for the elderly.
Degree ProgramGraduate College