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Muscling up against disability

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Three hundred Brisbane adults aged over 65 years are set to benefit from a $1.3 million joint Burnie Brae Centre and University of Queensland project to boost strength and balance.

UQ School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work’s Dr Tim Henwood said the two-year project would provide resistance and balance training to Commonwealth Home Care or Home Support recipients in Brisbane’s north.

“The twice-weekly sessions will use the latest computerised European equipment,” he said.

“The project will provide valuable research into the ability of resistance training to stave off disability, prevent falls, reduce health service use, and allow independent living for longer.

“Additionally the research will investigate any potential economic benefits that may occur.”

The Muscling up against disability project is funded under the Federal Department of Social Services’ $34 million nation-wide Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing grants program.

Dr Henwood said the project was scheduled to start in August, and would measure participants after 24 weeks of resistance training, comparing them with a usual care control group.

“Given the strength of evidence, we believe that regular users of resistance training will reduce their trajectory of health decline,” Dr Henwood said.

“It is expected that training will improve and prolong the individual’s wellbeing, and that these benefits will be felt up to 6 months after the training has finished.

“We will measure the change in care needs and status, as well as adherence, acceptance and engagement of participants, and evaluate the financial costs and benefits.”

Exercise sessions will be at Burnie Brae’s Chermside Healthy Connections gyms and the Burnie Brae Centre in Bracken Ridge.

Other partners on the project are Bond University and St Vincent’s Health Australia, with fitness equipment provided by HUR Australia.

(Source: The University of Queensland)

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Posted On: 20 June, 2015
Modified On: 13 June, 2015

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