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Health and Wellness Programs for Older Adults

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Part of the Handbooks in Health, Work, and Disability book series (SHHDW)

Abstract

Attenuating the physical, functional, cognitive, and emotional declines associated with the aging process is imperative to maximize overall health and wellness in older adults. Health and wellness programs that include both physical activity and nutritional components are necessary to overcome the challenges associated with the aging process. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the aging processes that threaten the functional independence in older adults and outline the physical activity and nutritional modalities to ameliorate these threats. Physical declines include loss of muscle mass and strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and flexibility. Nutritional concerns include the presence of chronic disease, polypharmacy, reduced energy needs coexisting with enhanced micronutrient needs, and minimal access to healthy foods. Evidence-based health and wellness programs focusing on physical activity, nutrition, or both are summarized, and practical solutions to improve the programs are provided. Key recommendations to develop a health and wellness program targeted for older adults are given. Health and wellness programs should identify and target critical health needs in the population and incorporate both physical activity, nutrition, and behavioral components into the program to maximize success. In conclusion, these programs are necessary to improve the overall health status of older adults to allow them to have the maximal quality of life.

Keywords

  • Health
  • Wellness
  • Older adult
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-03916-5_26
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Correspondence to Christopher T. Ray .

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Brewer, W., Patterson, M.A., Ray, C.T. (2018). Health and Wellness Programs for Older Adults. In: Gatchel, R., Schultz, I., Ray, C. (eds) Handbook of Rehabilitation in Older Adults. Handbooks in Health, Work, and Disability. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03916-5_26

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