The goal of the Fitness, Aging, and Stress Study, or FAST Study for short, is to explore the benefits of regular physical activity to adult women and men providing care to family members who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
We are examining whether increasing aerobic exercise levels can increase cellular markers of health, improve exercise capacity and blood pressure, and improve psychological well-being over six months in currently inactive caregiving adults.
We are seeking 80 men and women between the ages of 50 and 75 who provide care to a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or a dementia-related disorder on an ongoing, daily basis. Caregiving adults who participate in the study will receive a free 6-month membership to their local YMCA.
Caregivers who are in the exercise intervention group will be asked to increase their activity levels to 150 minutes a week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for 6 full months. Caregivers in the control group will wait 6 months to receive their gym membership and will be asked to maintain their current levels of activity. All participants will complete surveys, have their blood drawn at UCSF’s clinic, and undergo a fitness test at the beginning of the study and 6 months later when the study is over.
Caregiver Required: Yes
Protocol Title: Fitness, Aging, and Stress Study
Age Range: 50-75
Purpose: More than half of the people who face the daily challenges of providing long-term care report that their health has declined, affecting their ability to provide care. Many caregivers experience psychological and physical changes as a result of caregiving. There is research showing that caregivers benefit from engaging in physical activity, but the psychological and biological mechanisms through which this occurs has yet to be revealed.
We are examining the psychological and biological benefits of regular physical activity to caregivers of family members who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and who currently do not meet Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for weekly physical activity. Specifically, we are interested in exploring whether regular physical activity can increase markers of cellular aging, health, and improve psychological well-being over six months in caregivers compared to age-matched wait list control caregivers.
Who is Eligible?: Provide care to a family member or loved one with Alzheimer's disease or other Dementia-related disorders
Are between the ages of 50-75 and live in the Greater SF Bay Area
Are interested in increasing physical activity levels