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The discussion paper, The Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise for People Living with Dementia, by Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, has found that while people with dementia and their carers have reported several benefits of remaining physically active, it is often difficult to do so.
The paper urges health and aged care providers and governments to act to ensure people with dementia are able to remain physically active as regular exercise and physical activity can help improve things like coordination, balance, functional ability, cognition and create a better sense of wellbeing.
Recommendations in the discussion paper include the Federal Government funding a series of pilot exercise programs in residential aged care and community aged care; mandate private health insurance rebates for gym memberships and exercise physiologist sessions for people with dementia and their carers; and that the Federal and State Governments encourage the delivery of exercise programs for people with dementia by offering funding incentives to aged care providers.
There are also recommendations for aged care providers to put in place exercise programs to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of people with dementia and that they ensure their environments enable mobility and freedom of movement.