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Rehabilitation of a Functionally Limited, Chronically Ill Older Adult: A Case Study


  • Debra Boardley is an associate professor at the University of Toledo's College of Health and Human Services.

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This case study presents MV, a 78-year-old woman who was being treated pharmacologically for several common chronic health problems and who presented with self-reported and observed limitations in her functional ability. After being screened for contraindications to exercise, MV participated in a 16-week rehabilitation program of regular exercise that included aerobic and resistance training. She maintained a high level of compliance with this rehabilitation training and showed improvements in her aerobic capacity, strength, ability to complete functional tasks, blood components, and lipid profile. She also reported decreased levels of pain and improved perceptions of functional ability. This case study indicates that older adults with chronic illness can benefit from participating in a program of regular exercise.