Promoting movement in older adults in the community (PROMO)

Anticipated Findings

Our anticipated findings include:

1.) A list of evidence-based physical activity practices
2.) A list of barriers to using the list of practices in the previous step
3.) A list of strategies to overcome the barriers
4.) A manual that describes tips for how to use each strategy, including recommendations for using them in different settings and things to watch out for in the long-term

About the Project

Physical activity is important for good health. This is especially true for older adults living with frailty who are at risk of having their health worsen without the right care plan. Physical activity programs exist, but few focus on homebound older adults living with frailty.

Existing evidence describes programs run by physiotherapists, occupational therapists or exercise technicians that are offered separate from home care processes. Few studies have looked at how to help homebound older adults living with frailty increase their activity level.  The literature tells us that a program is more likely to be used in the long-term if it is a good fit with usual activities, is easy to use and is easy to access. Our physical activity program will take advantage of natural opportunities for activity that already exist in the care provided by personal support workers or caregivers (e.g., gentle stretches during bathing).

Our objectives are to create and pilot an evidence-based physical activity program for homebound older adults.

Project Team

Principal Investigator:

Barbara Liu, MD, FRCPC – Sunnybrook Research Institute


Sid Feldman, MD, CCFP, FCFP – University of Toronto

Jayna Holroyd-Leduc, MD, FRCPC – University of Calgary

David Ryan, PhD, C.Psych – Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto

Sharon Straus, MD, FRCPC, MSc – St. Michael’s Hospital

Project Contact: Dr. Barbara Liu –

Key words: frailty; mobility; older adult; community; homecare; barriers; implementation science; integrated knowledge translation


We hypothesize that a physical activity program that is woven into usual homecare processes, is free of cost, and user-friendly, can become routine and ultimately slow the progression of frailty.

Research Plan

We will follow a four-step approach:

1.) Gather evidence through research and expert advice
2.) Conduct interviews to find out what the barriers and facilitators are
3.) Develop the program
4.) Pilot the program with personal support workers and family caregivers, and evaluate the outcomes