Wellness Promotion in Community-Dwelling Older Adults
The older adult population is growing, and is the largest utilizer of healthcare. Most older adults live independently within the community. Community-based health promotion programs benefit the maintenance of older adult health. Advanced practice nurses are well-positioned to develop and implement programs within the community to promote older adult health. The project question was the following: In community-dwelling older adults living in a county in the central Midwest, does participation in a health-promotion program enhance the adoption of health promoting lifestyle habits during three months at a senior center? The sample was five independent-living adults, 65 years and older, attending a community-based senior center. An advanced practice nurse-designed educational program was implemented to support the health of older adults attending a community senior center. Five sessions covered the topics of: fall prevention, heart health, preventative care, medication safety, and proactive health practices. Outcomes were measured using the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile-II (HPLPII) in a pre- posttest format to assess the adoption level of healthy lifestyle behaviors. HPLPII pre- posttest total scores (3.22 and 3.10), and subscale scores were not statistically significant, (z = -0.966, p = 0.334). An increase was noted in the subscales of Health Responsibility (3.18 to 3.24) and Spiritual Growth (3.34 to 3.44). The relative consistency of HPLPII pre- posttest scores shows that the program reinforced the healthy lifestyles of older adults. These findings indicate that community-based health promotion programs foster staying healthy in older adults.
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