Background and Objectives: Despite the availability of community resources, fall and inactivity rates remain high among older adults. Thus, in this article, we describe older adults' self-reported awareness and use of community resources targeting fall prevention and physical activity. Research Design and Methods: In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted in Phase 1 with community center leaders (n = 5) and adults (n = 16) ≥70 years old whose experience with community programs varied. In Phase 2, surveys were administered to intervention study participants (n = 102) who were ≥70 years old, did not have a diagnosis of dementia, and reported low levels of physical activity. Results: Four themes emerged from Phase 1 data: (a) identifying a broad range of local community resources; (b) learning from trusted sources; (c) the dynamic gap between awareness and use of community resources; and (d) using internal resources to avoid falls. Phase 2 data confirmed these themes; enabled the categorization of similar participant-identified resources (10); and showed that participants who received encouragement to increase community resource use, compared to those who did not, had significantly greater odds of using ≥1 resource immediately postintervention, but not 6 months' postintervention. Discussion and Implications: Although participants in this study were aware of a broad range of local community resources for physical activity, they used resources that support walking most frequently. Additionally, receiving encouragement to use community resources had short-term effects only. Findings improve our understanding of resources that need bolstering or better dissemination and suggest researchers identify best promotion, dissemination, implementation strategies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Minnesota Clinical Translational Science Institute (KL2TR000113, UL1TR000114).
- Community-based services
- Mixed methods
- Physical activity