Quality statement 2: Physical activity for older people

Quality statement

Older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing are offered tailored, community-based physical activity programmes.

Rationale

Encouraging older people to be physically active, using tailored programmes such as walking schemes, can improve their independence and mental wellbeing as well as their physical health. It also means they are more likely to be able to leave their own home and take part in vocational and social activities. This reduces the risk of loneliness and social isolation.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure tailored, community-based physical activity programmes are in place for older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing who take part in tailored, community-based physical activity programmes.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who take part in tailored, community-based physical activity programmes.

Denominator – the number of older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

a) Change in physical activity among older people.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Incidence of mental health conditions among older people identified as being at risk of decline.

Data source: Local data collection.

c) Incidence of admission to supported care facilities among older people identified as being at risk of decline.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (such as local authorities, local NHS providers and voluntary organisations) ensure that tailored, community-based physical activity programmes are in place for older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing.

Health, public health and social care practitioners (such as GPs, community nurses and occupational therapists) are aware of, and offer, tailored community-based physical activity programmes for older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing.

Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) commission community-based physical activity programmes tailored for older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing.

Older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing are offered community-based physical activity programmes that reflect their preferences to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Tailored community-based physical activity programmes

Physical activity programmes for older people that reflect their preferences and are delivered in a community setting and include:

  • mixed exercises of moderate intensity (for example, dancing, walking, swimming)

  • strength and resistance exercise, especially for older people living with frailty

  • toning and stretching exercises.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on mental wellbeing in over 65s: occupational therapy and physical activity interventions, recommendation 2]

Older people

People aged 65 or older.

[NICE's guideline on older people: independence and mental wellbeing]

Older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing

Older people with at least 1 of the following risk factors:

  • live alone and have little opportunity to socialise

  • low income

  • recently experienced or developed a health problem (whether or not it led to admission to hospital)

  • aged 80 or older.

Or at least 2 of the following risk factors:

  • partner has died in the past 2 years

  • carer

  • recently separated or divorced

  • recently retired (particularly if involuntarily)

  • unemployed in later life

  • had to give up driving

  • have an age-related disability.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on older people: independence and mental wellbeing, recommendation 1.5.3 and expert consensus]

Equality and diversity considerations

Physical activity programmes need to take into account any mental health conditions and learning or physical disabilities that the person may have. Any written information provided should be accessible to people with additional needs, such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities.