Applying the Senior-Tailored Yoga Exercise Program to the Community and Institutional Older Adults

Thursday, July 14, 2011: 8:50 AM

Kuei-Min Chen, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Chun-Huw Li, RN, MS
Department of Nursing, Yuhing Junior College of Health Care and Management, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the appropriateness of an evidence-based nursing intervention, the Silver Yoga exercise program, for various elderly populations.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to distinguish the preferences of community and institutional older adults toward yoga exercises.

Purpose: A nursing intervention innovation, the Silver Yoga exercise program, was developed to accommodate the physical tolerance and body flexibility of older adults.In order to provide better quality of care for different groups of older adults, this study aimed to evaluate and compare the appropriateness of the Silver Yoga exercise program for community and institutional elders and to determine their preferences toward yoga exercises.

Methods: Descriptive design with quantitative program evaluation and semi-structured interviews.A convenience sample of 97 participants (64 community elders; 33 institutional elders) was interviewed individually after six months of Silver Yoga exercises. Participants rated the level of difficulty, acceptability, feasibility, and helpfulness of the Silver Yoga exercise program (four phases: warm-up, hatha yoga, relaxation, and guided-imagery meditation) and the abdominal breathing technique, based on a 10-point Cantril ladder scale. Further, participants expressed their preferences of yoga exercises based on four open-ended questions.

Results: The program was fairly acceptable, feasible, and helpful for community and institutional elders (M: 8.33-9.70). The warm-up, relaxation, guided-imagery meditation and abdominal breathing as fairly easy to follow and perform (M: 0.20-0.94). However, the postures in hatha yoga phase were relatively challenging but still manageable for the institutional elders (M = 1.97, SD = 2.33). Further, community elders preferred to practice yoga 61-90 minutes everyday in a group of 11-20 while the institutional elders preferred to practice yoga 31-60 minutes three times per week, in a group of less than 10.

Conclusion: The program is acceptable, feasible, helpful, and manageable for both community and institutional older adults. However, different exercise protocols, such as practice intensity and group size, could be applied to different elderly populations.