NYC Healthcare News

Exercise can ease arthritis pain

November 15, 2015

Mrs. G says her physical therapist also saw improvement. "Medicare only pays for [so many] physical therapy visits. [But] I told [my physical therapist] I was at a point where I could continue without her, especially since I have the Tai Chi as something else in its place."

Szanton says that early results from her study show that participants who received physical intervention to address their challenges had much less difficulty completing daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, using the telephone, shopping, and doing housework. They also showed a 24 percent improvement in their lower extremity function.

Szanton found participants through the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement, the Baltimore Housing Authority, and Comprehensive Housing Assistance (CHAI), a Jewish organization that helps older adults age in place. Mrs. G and 41 other participants were placed in two groups: the physical intervention group which received three services - occupational therapy, nursing, and the assistance of a construction specialist who made necessary home repairs??and an attention intervention group which participated in life-review interviews only.

The CAPABLE study's pilot year was funded by the National Institutes of Health Career Development training grant, the John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin Fellowship in geriatric nursing research, and the Hopkins Population Center. Szanton is currently applying for additional funding to enlarge and verify her results with 300 older adults in Baltimore City.

When Szanton is ready to find more participants, Mrs. G says she has plenty of names. "I've told all my senior relatives and friends about the program and they said, 'Oh, how can I get in it?'" she says. "They make you feel like they care about was an excellent program."

SOURCE Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing