Exercise of vital importance
Scientific proof for the efficacy of exercise is strong. Exercise stimulates vitality and can slow down the aging process. Exercise does not only have positive effects on cognition, movement skills and physical condition in the elderly but also reduces the risk of falling, physical agitation, depression, constipation, bed sores and incontinence. Exercising together also leads to more social interactions and has a positive effect on the well-being of the older person.
However, many older people do not exercise nearly enough: 78% of the elderly in care institutions are inactive; in other words, they do not participate in moderately intensive physical activity for at least 30 minutes during any day of the summer or winter. It would be very beneficial if residential care centres have an active exercise policy. This means that exercise must be a structural part of elderly care. Not only for the sake of rehabilitation, but also in everyday life.