Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Koren, Mary Elaine

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Nursing and Health Studies


The older adult population has a high rate of chronic disease, falls, and a decline in mental health (Nelson et al, 2007). In addition, the aging population utilizes the highest proportion of medical care than any other age group (Chen et al., 2011). The older population trusts the face-to-face interaction with their health care team and nurses are at the forefront of care for their patients (Pacucci, Chu, Leasure, 2012). It is the responsibility of the nurse to educate and advocate for the active lifestyle of an elderly patient for better health promotion and prevention of disease or disease progression. Exercise promotes mobility and strength when it comes to gait, balance and age-related muscle and bone weakness; all of which can affect an older adult’s risk for falls (McMahon, Fleury, 2012). Exercise increases mental health by promoting blood flow to the brain and can increase neural connections. This aids in slowing the progression of dementia and increasing mood. The purpose of this capstone project is to review the literature and look at the effects of exercise on the body of the older adult and determine the specific roles the nurse plays in helping maintain an active lifestyle.


17 pages




Northern Illinois University

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