Honors Theses


Kurt Jackson, PT, Ph.D., GCS


Physical Therapy

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Falling and loss of mobility present serious risks for elderly adults, especially those with cognitive impairments such as dementia. These risks are shown to be significantly reduced when elderly adults participate in exercises focusing on strength and balance of sufficient intensity. Despite these potential benefits, many adult day programs do not incorporate exercise in a systematic and progressive fashion to achieve desirable improvements in function.

The purpose of this project was to develop an evidence-based exercise program, later titled Simply Strong, for reducing fall risk and improving mobility in elderly adults with dementia participating in Goodwill Easter Seals adult day services. An extensive literature review of current research into the implementation and resulting outcomes of exercise for older adults with dementia was conducted. A supplementary survey of Goodwill Easter Seals program managers regarding barriers and needs was conducted. Barriers to providing such a program were identified through the survey and addressed in the creation of the program so that this program, Simply Strong, and other programs of a similar nature, have an increased likelihood of being utilized long-term.

Based on the current literature, an evidence-based training program, titled Simply Strong, was developed to meet the needs of older adults with dementia and through the results of the staff survey was specifically tailored for individuals with dementia at Goodwill Easter Seals Adult Day Service. Staff members of Goodwill Easter Seals were instructed in providing the program so that the program remained self-sustaining after the conclusion of this project. Additionally, a training manual, an accompanying video, and an equipment cart to assist in the implementation of the program was fabricated and then donated to two Goodwill Easter Seals locations.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes


Undergraduate research


Physical Therapy