The literature review clearly demonstrates that there is a close relationship between physical activity and functional limitations among the aging population. Scientific studies have revealed that older people who are actively involved in physical exercise have lower chances of suffering from some of the common forms of physical limitations associated with the aging population. Physical activity helps in fighting health problems such as obesity, kidney problems, coronary diseases, and many other chronic diseases. One’s lifestyle at this old age will define some of the physical limitation one would face in life.
Lange (2012) says that at this old age, the diet one takes is very critical in defining one’s health. Old people should avoid excessive intake of meat, especially the red meat, because this type of protein is needed in small amounts at this age. Maintaining regular physical activities, good diet, and a healthy lifestyle is the best strategy that can help eliminate functional limitations among the aging adults.
Health Promotion Theory
The study focused on Health Belief Model as the central health promotion theory that is relevant to the identified health problem. Dixey (2012, p. 16) defines Health Belief Model as “A psychological model that attempts to explain and predict health behaviours.” This theory holds that one’s belief and attitudes will always define one’s actions towards a given health activity.
Wylie and Holt (2010, p. 58) says, “The model suggests that people’s beliefs about health problems, perceived benefits of action and barriers to action explain engagement in health-promoting behaviour.” This means that a person will be more engaged in a health promoting behaviour if they belief that in so doing, they shall benefit from it, or avoid a potential harm that may befall on them if they fail to act in a given manner.
Hochbaum, Rosenstock and Kegels developed this theory in 1950 when they were working with the United State Public Health Services. These social psychologists were concerned that even after the government offered free tuberculosis screening, only a few people turned up to be tested. In fact, the majority of those who turned up for the screening are people who had previously paid for the services in the past. They wanted to understand why people did not respond to the free program that was meant to benefit them.
From their research, they realized that perception, attitude, and one’s belief play a major role in defining the ability of an individual to engage in health promotion services. They identified five concepts that would define one’s ability to engage in health promotion programmes. They include perceived susceptibility, perceived benefits, perceived severity, perceived barriers, self-efficacy, and cues to action.
In this programme, it has been identified that maintaining regular physical exercise and a healthy diet are some of the ways that can help eliminate or reduce physical limitations among the aging population. However, it is not guaranteed that all the adults will be willing to participate in the program. As stated in this model, their attitude and beliefs about physical exercise will always define the likelihood that they will engage in such exercise.
Those who consider physical exercise very important in helping to fight these limitations will likely embrace the programme. However, those who have contrary opinion will consider the program a waste of time, and therefore, will most likely avoid it. Lange (2012) says that sometimes it may be necessary to engage the target group and address some of the misconceptions that might have defined their negative perception towards an issue. Such misconceptions may have serious impact on the affected parties if care is not taken to address them adequately.
Selection of Intervention and Its Rationale
The researcher proposes physical exercise as the most appropriate intervention programme that can be used to reduce or eliminate functional limitations. In this programme, the targeted group of the elderly persons will engage in regular physical activities either at their homes or in selected centres, which are conveniently located within their neighbourhood.
The programme will be closely monitored by a team of physical trainers who will guide the participants either through video links or through direct interaction within the selected centres. It is important to understand the rationale of this intervention programme that makes it more appropriate than other existing intervention plans. Scientific studies have revealed that physical activity is very important in eliminating or reducing functional limitations among the aging population.
According to Edelman, Mandle and Kudzma (2014), physical exercise makes the elderly strong, and minimizes chances of developing some of the health problems that may affect their quality of life at this delicate stage in life. Studies have revealed that physically active adults have higher survival chances than those who are less active.
Hubley and Copeman (2008) say that physical exercise not only helps in fighting functional limitation among adults, but also helps in many other areas. It helps in boosting the mental strength among the elderly. It also helps in fighting stress and fatigue, which are very common among the aging population. These factors make this intervention plan very appropriate for the elderly.
In-Depth Plan for Interventions
In order to run this intervention programme successfully, it is important to develop an in-depth plan that clearly identifies all the activities involved, the target audience, and the setting. As mentioned previously, this programme will target the elderly population who are over 65 years. The age of the target audience was defined by the fact that the target group are prone to functional limitations because of their age. Both men and women will participate in this programme.
We plan to start with a smaller sample of about 100 people at all the Johns Hopkins Hospitals within the country. The choice of this health facility was because it already has similar programmes at all its centres to help the elderly fight some of the physical challenges brought about by their age. However, the long-term goal is to have these programmes at all the health centres within this country. The pioneers of this programme will help inform the public about the actual benefits of physical exercise.
It will eliminate some of the negative perceptions that a section of the society may have when it comes to engaging actively in physical exercise. Choosing the healthcare centres as the setting for the programme was made because of the delicate nature of the people at this age. The wellness centres, which are very common in this country, may not be appropriate for this group. This is so because they need special attention to ensure that they do not strain their delicate bones beyond the limits.
This can only be done appropriately within a healthcare facility. The first activity will be the selection of the participants, which will be done in collaboration with the management of the participating healthcare centres. When the participants have been selected and duly informed, the team will then draw a schedule of how the programme will be conducted based on the availability of the participants and their trainers. This will then be followed by the actual activities as defined in the plan.
Summary of the Appropriateness of the Intervention
Nurses face serious challenges when they are assigned to work with the elderly who are suffering from health problems related to functional limitations. According to Leifer and Fleck (2013), some nurses even sustain injuries as they try to offer care to these people. This programme will not only help in fighting functional limitation among the target group, but also help in reducing the workload on the nurses who care for them.
When these people engage in regular physical exercise, they will be able to overcome some of the physical problems that hinder their movements. By overcoming functional challenges, these people will be self-supportive.
They will be in a position to do various physical activities on their own without the need to be supported by the nurses. It has also been noted in this paper that this programme will help reduce a host of health problems such as coronary diseases, kidney problems, psychological issues, and problems of the bones and muscles. This means that the effort that was needed from the nurses by this group will reduce significantly. The nurses will have time to address other issues.
Dixey, R. (2012). Health promotion: Global principles and practice. Wallingford: CABI.
Edelman, C., Mandle, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span. New York: Elsevier.
Hubley, J., & Copeman, J. (2008). Practical health promotion. Cambridge: Polity.
Lange, J. W. (2012). The nurse’s role in promoting optimal health of older adults: Thriving in the wisdom years. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.
Leifer, G., & Fleck, E. (2013). Growth and development across the lifespan: A health promotion focus. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier.
Wylie, A., & Holt, T. (2010). Health promotion in medical education: From rhetoric to action. Oxford: Radcliffe.