Digital, interactive home exercise to aid the recovery of older adults with stroke
Recovery after stroke depends on participating in a structured exercise programme. However, older adults with stroke find it challenging to maintain an optimal level of physical activity. To encourage participation in physical activity, we aim to co-design an interactive resistance exercise solution for older stroke survivors with impairments in upper limbs. We will co-design it by testing accessible and affordable fitness equipment and will involve older adults with stroke to take part in this process.
About the project
Stroke has debilitative effects on the body and can hinder physical and cognitive function. Recovery after stroke depends on participating in a structured exercise program of meaningful activities. However, older adults with stroke find it challenging to maintain an optimal level of physical activity for brain recovery due to physical and cognitive impairments, lack of motivation and age-related factors such as frailty, losing muscle mass and depression.
To encourage participation in physical activity, the exercise programme should be structured, home/community-based, simple, efficient, patient-led and with minimum supervision to increase exercise adherence, especially for the patients with severe limb impairments.
In this study, we aim to co-design an interactive and digital resistance exercise solution for community-dwelling older stroke survivors with moderate to severe impairments in upper limbs. We will co-design it by testing accessible and affordable fitness equipment such as rubber bands and barbells and will involve older adults (>65 years) with chronic stroke (6 months after stroke) to take part in this process throughout the study period to share their viewpoints.
First, we will co-develop a multimedia exercise package to use with fitness equipment for upper limbs, lower limbs and trunk that would be feasible even for people with upper limb paralysis to perform at home with maximum safety and minimum mental efforts and supervision, then we will co-design the solutions (app and hardware design) that make the fitness equipment interactive, digital and patient-centred to increase physical activity and limbs mobility.