Balance training

HEALTH INFORMATION

Understanding the causes of falls and how to improve balance

WHAT WE KNOW

Balance training

Falls and fall-related injuries are one of the most common causes of ill health and morbidity in older adults and lead to functional impairment, disability, lower quality of life, and fracture.

Neuromuscular, or balance, training is undertaken in order to improve posture, prevent injury or as a form of rehabilitation. Balance training is helpful for improving standing balance and locomotor performance in older adults.

Decreased balance is attributable to an age-related decline in multiple physiological systems that contributes to decreased muscle flexibility and strength, reduced central processing of sensory information, and slowed motor responses.

In addition to an increased risk of falls, diminished balance and mobility may limit activities of daily living or participation in leisure-time activities. Accordingly, it is essential that balance exercises be incorporated into the physical activity programs of older adults.

As part of  promoting a series of 5 simple exercises that can be done at home to assist with the management of balance here is a video to practice the exercise just at home.

This exercise is more important during the colder months when people tend to be less active in winter, the hours of daylight are shorter and vitamin D deficiency is more likely.

OUR LATEST RESEARCH

Understanding and preventing physical and cognitive decline and falls in older people with dementia

Falls and functional decline are common in people with dementia. Falls are more likely to result in injury, death and institutionalisation when compared to older people without dementia. There is limited evidence that falls can be prevented in people with dementia. Strategies aimed at maintaining independence and preventing decline and falls are urgently needed. This research will a) further our understanding of fall risk and functional decline and b) explore novel fall and decline prevention programs, including the use of technology in older people with dementia.

Treating dizziness in older people

Despite effective treatments being available, up to 40% of older people with reported dizziness remain undiagnosed and untreated. A multidisciplinary assessment battery, with new validated assessments of vestibular impairments is required for diagnosing and treating older people with dizziness. This project will therefore aim to conduct a randomised-control trial of a multifaceted dizziness intervention based on a multidisciplinary assessment, and develop a multiple profile assessment of dizziness for use in Specialist Clinics.

Development of a take-home rehabilitation device that improves vision and balance in patients with i

This project will develop a rehabilitation device based on a training technique we invented, which has been shown to significantly normalise the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) response in patients with vestibular organ lesions.

What else is happening in Balance training research at NeuRA?

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

Ten siblings. One third live (or have passed away) with dementia.

The scourge of dementia runs deep in Lorna Clement's family. Of the eleven children her dear parents raised, four live (or have passed away) with complications of the disease. Her mother also died of Alzheimer's disease, bringing the family total to five. This is the mystery of dementia - One family, with two very different ageing outcomes. You will have read that lifestyle is an important factor in reducing the risk of dementia. We also know diet is a key factor, and an aspect that Dr Ruth Peter's is exploring at NeuRA. Along with leading teams delivering high profile evidence synthesis work in the area of dementia risk reduction, Dr Peters has a particular interest in hypertension (that is, high blood pressure) and in the treatment of hypertension in older adults. “We have known for a while that treating high blood pressure reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, but it is becoming clearer that controlling blood pressure may also help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Now we need to know what the best blood pressure is to protect brain health.” You are invited to read more about Lorna's story and Dr Peter's work, by clicking 'Read the full story' below. Please support dementia research at NeuRA Will you consider a gift today to help Dr Peter's unlock the secrets of healthy ageing and reduce the risk of dementia? Research into ageing and dementia at NeuRA will arm doctors and other medical professionals with the tools they need to help prevent dementia in our communities. Thank you for your support.
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