Falls and injuries, getting on and off exercise equipment, and proper supervision while on the equipment are concerns for older people who are obese. If Section 8 of HB 369 is passed, I believe there should be language about who would qualify to provide these services. If older adults who are obese are not carefully monitored by certified geriatric trainers, more harm than good could come from this legislation. Money might better be spent creating walking paths, appropriate lighting, and security in neighborhoods. The need for cost-effective community–based interventions is critical.
Although legislation is needed to support the efforts of nurses in helping to reduce obesity in older adults, we need to make sure that our efforts are directed by our professional organization, the American Nurses Association (ANA) and that we all speak with one voice. The most effective way nurses can influence policy at the national level is to align themselves with ANA’s Political Action Committee (PAC).
The best kind of exercise for older adults who are obese begins with what nature intended our bodies to do: walk!
Ann Mabe Newman, DSN, APRN, CNE
Associate Professor of Nursing
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
ReferenceRejeski, W.J., Brubaker, P.H., Goff, D.C., Bearon, L.B, McClelland, J.W., Perri, M.G., & Ambrosius, W.T. (2011). Translating weight loss and physical activity programs Into the Community to Preserve Mobility in Older, Obese Adults in Poor Cardiovasculare Health. Archives of Internal Medicine, Jan 2011 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.522