Can Fitness Beat the Blues for Older Australians?
Thursday, 10th November 2011 at 9:46 am
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New research hopes to discover if jumping on a treadmill holds the key to reducing depression among older Australians and their carers.
The Gillard Government is providing nearly $700,000 funding for a four year study into a program that aims to reduce depression among older Australians and their carers by improving their fitness.
The study will investigate whether the use of a specifically designed exercise program for older Australians and their carers can reduce the incidence of depression and improve mental wellbeing.
Launching the research at the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), Mark Butler – The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing said, “Carers provide the majority of direct care to older Australians and the invaluable work that they carry out underpins the lives of many families right across the country.”
Butler said, “Often this care is provided at a cost to their own physical and mental health.”
Carers and care recipients will take part in the home exercise program together – which will include balance and strength training. The Government hopes improving the fitness of carers and care recipients will help build confidence, reduce isolation and depression and prevent falls.
Butler said as the nation’s population ages, “it’s important we support people who are adjusting to the needs and responsibilities of being a carer and help them to stay happy and healthy.”