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Collecting Information and Pre-screening

pre-screening for older adults, collection of client information and adult pre-screening tool.
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© CQUniversity 2021

Pre-screening for Older Adults

Rapport is a feeling of understanding – eye contact, speaking at an appropriate pace, ensuring client comfort, seating position between trainer/client, greetings, introduction (handshake etc.), access to written material – food diary sheets, gym etiquette etc., professional appearance, body language etc.

When a positive rapport is established, the person begins to relax, to share, and to trust what they talk about is valued. It is important that each client is treated as an individual and given the care needed to develop the best program for that client.

The client orientation screening process is broken into steps to ensure all relevant information is collected and a comfortable environment is created for the client.

  1. Collection of client information past and current physical activity patterns, identification and clarification of needs and expectations.
  2. Adult Pre-Screening Tool (Fitness Australia) Identifying health concerns, contraindication activities and if medical appointment/ referral is necessary.
  3. Health and fitness testing to decide on the most appropriate test for the client.
  4. Using the SMART goal system is essential to client adherence.
  5. Prescription of an individualised exercise program.
  6. Reassessment every 3 months and program review every 6 weeks.

Collection of Client Information

Before starting an exercise program for an older adult, you must be able to understand the needs of the client.

This is also where you begin to build rapport.

What is the client’s goal?

  • Is it on their terms or were they told to commence an exercise program?
  • What is their current physical activity level?
  • What is their history of physical activity?
  • What are their concerns or preferences regarding exercise?
  • What are their expectations of this appointment and the program?

This information is noted in the client’s records for program planning and future reference.

Adult Pre-Screening Tool

Download a copy of the Adult Pre-screening Tool.

Every instructor should take their client through a pre-screening assessment to be made aware of any injuries or medical considerations.

  • The effects of ageing can lead to many risk factors that need consideration in exercise programming. For example; osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, muscular/joint pain or injuries
  • This screening process should reveal relevant background information, known diseases, any known signs and symptoms of disease and family history of disease and health problems
  • A simple, free screening tool for use is provided by Fitness Australia.

Clients can be categorised as high, moderate or low-risk clients

High Risk

  • One or more signs/symptoms of or diagnosed cardiovascular, pulmonary or metabolic disease
  • A thorough medical examination should take place and clearance given before commencing physical activity or exercise at any intensity level.

Moderate Risk

  • Do not have signs/symptoms of or diagnosed cardiovascular, pulmonary or metabolic disease but has two or more cardiovascular disease risk factors
  • May safely engage in low-to-moderate-intensity physical activities without the necessity for medical examination and clearance.

NB: Vigorous intensity – advisable to gain a clearance from the General Practitioner.

Low Risk

  • No known or signs/symptoms of a cardiovascular, pulmonary or metabolic disease and no more than one cardiovascular disease risk factor
  • Physical activity/exercise program may be pursued safely without the necessity for medical examination or clearance.
© CQUniversity 2021
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Personal Trainer's Toolkit: Developing Fitness Programs for Older People

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