Preventing Falls

RESEARCH STUDY

PREVENTING FALLS IN OLDER ADULTS WITH COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT OR DEMENTIA

This study aims to determine whether an individualised exercise and home hazard reduction program can reduce the rates of falls in older people living in the community with cognitive impairment or dementia.

The Intervention program involves:-
• A personal exercise program to improve strength and balance and home hazard reduction program delivered by experienced therapists.
• Support and advice to carers to help their family member/friend to perform the exercises.

Note: As this is a research study only half of the participants will be randomly allocated to receive the intervention program and the other half will not. This will be determined randomly like when tossing a coin.

To participate, you must be:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • English-speaking (due to the assessments we use)
  • Community-dwelling or live in a retirement village
  • Living in the Sydney metropolitan area
  • With cognitive impairment or dementia
  • Has a family member or close friend with regular face-to-face contact (carer) >3.5hrs/week
  • No acute medical illnesses or progressive neurological disease such as Parkinson’s

This study will involve assessments of your fall risk, using measures of strength, balance, vision, reaction time and walking. You will be asked some questions about your general health, physical activities, medication use and falls history.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact the I-FOCIS Research Team on 02 9399 1851 or by email atiFOCIS@neura.edu.au

See what’s going on at NeuRA

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

Abdominal muscle stimulation to improve bowel function in spinal cord injury

Bowel complications, resulting from impaired bowel function, are common for people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). As a result, people with a SCI have high rates of bowel related illness, even compared with those with other neurological disorders. This includes high rates of abdominal pain, constipation, faecal incontinence and bloating. These problems lower the quality of life of people with a SCI and place a financial burden on the health system. A treatment that improves bowel function for people with a SCI should reduce illness, improve quality of life and lead to a large cost saving for health care providers. Bowel problems have traditionally been managed with manual and pharmacological interventions, such as digital rectal stimulation, enemas, and suppositories. These solutions are usually only partially effective, highlighting the need for improved interventions. The abdominal muscles are one of the major muscle groups used during defecation. Training the abdominal muscles should improve bowel function by increasing abdominal pressure. During our previous Abdominal FES research with people with a SCI, we observed that Abdominal FES appeared to lead to more consistent and effective bowel motion. However, this evidence remains anecdotal. As such, we are going to undertake a large randomised controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of Abdominal FES to improve the bowel function of people with a SCI. This study will make use of a novel measurement system (SmartPill, Medtronic) that can be swallowed to measure whole gut and colonic transit time. We will also assess whether Abdominal FES can change constipation-related quality of life and the use of laxatives and manual procedures, as well as the frequency of defecation and the time taken. A positive outcome from this study is likely to lead to the rapid clinical translation of this technology for people living with a SCI.
PROJECT