A majority of older adults demonstrate some difficulty with functional activity. Some of these limitations can be due to the fact that older adults are generally less physically active than their younger counterparts. In addition to greater functional limitations leading to possible disability, less physical activity can lead to increased risk of chronic diseases and mortality. Exercise and physical activity have been found to increase average life expectancy in humans as it can reduce chronic disease development and other secondary aging effects. Exercise also can increase reserve capacity in older adults with sedentary lifestyle thereby affecting the secondary aging process as well as increase aerobic capacity and muscle strength. Older adults can pose unique challenges for clinicians due to their sedentary lifestyle and potential for complex medical history. Rehabilitation professionals are experts in movement science and should play an integral role in prescription of appropriate physical activity to ensure maximal levels of success with older adults.

This webinar will provide you with a better understanding of primary aging processes that may affect an older adult’s functional status. Barriers to treatment will be discussed along with best practice and evidence-based approaches to overcome these challenges to improve functional outcomes for these patients. An evidence-based approach for exercise prescription will be discussed to ensure that basic exercise science principles are used during plan of care development.

Level of Instruction:  Introduction


Course Objectives

  • Identify the primary aging processes that can affect an older adult’s functional status
  • Identify the exercise science principle that should be considered during exercise prescription
  • Identify motivators and barriers that may affect participation in physical activity and exercise
  • Identify considerations in individual’s with comorbidities during treatment using exercise

Course Agenda

  • Primary Aging Processes and Function
  • Exercise Prescription in Older Adults: a) Principles of Exercise Science b) ACSM and CDC Recommendations i) Strength training ii) Balance training iii) Flexibility training iv) Aerobic training
  • Motivators and Barriers to Activity in Older Adults
  • Considerations for Special Populations: a) Medical Comorbidities b) Patients with Dementia c) Frail Older Adults


  • Nicole Dawson, PT, PhD, GCS

Nicole Dawson, PT, PhD, GCS is an Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Central Florida.  She is a Board Certified Geriatric Physical Therapist with over 13 years of clinical experience along with a PhD in Adult Development & Aging Psychology from Cleveland State University.  Her current area of research includes developing non-pharmacological interventions to improve functional and psychosocial outcomes in patients with dementia, identifying predictors of falls in older adults with cognitive impairment, as well as gaining a better understanding of the illness experience of individuals with dementia.  Dr. Dawson has been published in peer-reviewed journals including The Gerontologist and has presented at numerous local and national conferences on the subject.  She is passionate about the bettering the treatment and care of these patients and is dedicated to assisting students and clinicians in gaining skills and knowledge to better help these patients maximize their potential.


Contact Hours: 1.5

Price: $49


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