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Effect Of Prescribing Exercise To The Elderly Population With Depression In Assisted Living Homes

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Depression is common in the geriatric population, especially when they are in assisted living housing. Exercise is a simple intervention that may be helpful for symptoms of depression. Serotonin is a hormone that is a major component in mood boosting. Shim et al. discussed that exercise has been shown to bolster serotonin signaling in some individuals (“Physical Weight Loading Induces Expression of Tryptophan Hydroxylase 2 in the Brain Stem” 1). This in turn creates a superior mood in individuals that exercise on a regular basis. Care-homes for elderly generally have a high rate of depression in their patients; exercise might be able to aid in alleviating some of the symptoms and create a better life for the geriatric population in care homes.
The participants were from 751 different care homes in the United Kingdom. To be eligible to participate in the study participants had to be of age 65 or above. Participants came from both nursing homes and residential homes. If they were too sick or were out of breath at rest they were not allowed to participate in the study (Underwood 41). After the homes were chosen they were randomized into a control and intervention. Participants that were categorized depressed and that had no depressive symptoms were included in the study. If patients were depressed their treatment outside of the exercise intervention was not altered, this included therapy and anti-depressants.
The first step was giving both the control and intervention group informed consent forms and presentations. The control group that was used only had awareness on depression presentation. The intervention group also encompassed the depression awareness presentation with the addition of exercise sessions and a “whole home appr...


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... population you have to be considerate in the fact that they have a higher fragility and possible other disorders that may make it impossible to exercise at an intensity that will have improvements on mood.
Even though with both studies exercise had no impact on symptoms of depression I believe it was very informative. Researchers may want to try a different way of measuring levels of mood by asking family or friends that are closer to participants than those of the physicians or nursing staff. They could possibly try to do a narrower form of exercise and keep it to either just aerobic training or just strength training instead to see if there is a difference in the type of exercise used. Overall I believe that we have a lot of future types of studies to do to be able to say if exercise intervention for elderly is or is not a beneficial treatment for depression.



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