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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

SafeTrip – step training to reduce falls in older adults

The SafeTrip study aims to investigate how older adults learn protective stepping skills to avoid falls when encountering obstacles, trips and slips. With NeuRA’s cutting-edge motion capture system and other wearable devices, the SafeTrip team will be able to observe and analyse movement and muscle activity during reactive or proactive step training.

 

The SafeTrip team are looking for older adults aged 65 years and over who:

  • Have not been advised by a medical practitioner not to exercise
  • Have no existing conditions that may prevent them from exercising (e.g. severe pain, heel ulcers, exercise intolerance)
  • Have no neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, etc.)
  • Have no history of fracture(s) or joint replacement(s) in the past 12 months
  • Are able to walk 500m comfortably without mobility aids or rest
  • Are active (i.e. exercising for at least 60mins/week) and living independently in the Sydney metropolitan community
  • Are not currently participating in any other falls prevention research studies

 

Eligible candidates will be invited to NeuRA for baseline assessment before being randomly allocated to either the reactive or proactive step training programs. All participants will undertake at least 3 training sessions, however, depending on their allocation, may be invited to undertake 1-3 additional training sessions throughout the year.

For more information or to get involved, please contact the SafeTrip team on 02 9399 1067 or safetrip-study@neura.edu.au. HC190952

 

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.

SafeTrip – step training to reduce falls in older adults

The SafeTrip study aims to investigate how older adults learn protective stepping skills to avoid falls when encountering obstacles, trips and slips. With NeuRA’s cutting-edge motion capture system and other wearable devices, the SafeTrip team will be able to observe and analyse movement and muscle activity during reactive or proactive step training.   The SafeTrip team are looking for older adults aged 65 years and over who: Have not been advised by a medical practitioner not to exercise Have no existing conditions that may prevent them from exercising (e.g. severe pain, heel ulcers, exercise intolerance) Have no neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, etc.) Have no history of fracture(s) or joint replacement(s) in the past 12 months Are able to walk 500m comfortably without mobility aids or rest Are active (i.e. exercising for at least 60mins/week) and living independently in the Sydney metropolitan community Are not currently participating in any other falls prevention research studies   Eligible candidates will be invited to NeuRA for baseline assessment before being randomly allocated to either the reactive or proactive step training programs. All participants will undertake at least 3 training sessions, however, depending on their allocation, may be invited to undertake 1-3 additional training sessions throughout the year. For more information or to get involved, please contact the SafeTrip team on 02 9399 1067 or safetrip-study@neura.edu.au. HC190952  
PROJECT