New Blog Series: How Can Your Long Term or Senior Care Business Support Healthy Aging?
Every week, hundreds of research articles are published containing keywords such as ‘gait’, ‘balance’, and ‘falls’. As the CEO and founder of a company in the mobility assessment space, I spend a lot of time reviewing these scientific journals. These publications help to reinforce my understanding of how various aspects of gait and balance relate to mobility-impairing and chronic diseases, as well as clarify how exercise and mobility training can support healthy aging.
Every once in a while, I come across a ‘golden’ article – one that presents scientific evidence that sums up my anecdotal beliefs about healthy aging. When this happens, I think, “My customers need to know this!”
That being said, I understand how busy you are. I know that you do not have time to sift through hundreds of scientific publications. So, I am here to help.
In this new blog series, I will share what are, in my opinion, the most recent and relevant publications about human mobility and summarize the ‘golden nuggets’ that I believe could improve your business operations.
Now, without further ado…
Does Exercise Reduce the Rate of Falls In Older People?
In short, yes! Yes it does.
In December 2019, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published the results of a meta analysis (examination of data from a number of independent studies of the same subject, in order to determine overall trends). The authors examined 108 studies involving 23,407 participants age 60+ years “to assess the effects of exercise interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community”.
So, what did they find?
- Overall, they found that exercise reduces the rate of falls by 23%.
- A combination of balance and functional exercises could reduce the rate of falls by 24%.
- Balance and functional exercises combined, with resistance exercises, could reduce the rate of falls by 34%.
- Tai Chi may reduce the rate of falls by 19%.
- Exercise benefited all fall risk groups. (There was no difference in effect on falls on the basis of low, moderate or high fall risk groups.)
- Exercise benefited all age groups. (There was no difference in effect on falls with the inclusion of 75 years + of age category.)
- Exercise benefited whether performed in a group or individually.
- A larger effect was seen in trials where interventions were delivered by a health professional.
In summary, there is certainty of evidence that exercise reduces fall rates. Furthermore, it has been determined to be a cost-effective fall prevention strategy.
Now having learned this, consider: how could you better encourage active aging in your facility? Do you already have an exercise program to support seniors staying active? If so, how could it be improved?
Leave a comment down below to let others know what is being done in your facility. We also want to hear your success stories! Be sure to connect with our new Instagram page, Seniors Being Awesome, to celebrate the active seniors in your community.
Stepscan’s Mission to Encourage Active Aging
At Stepscan we believe that mobility is the litmus test for healthy aging.
The Stepscan fall risk assessment tool captures and analyzes gait and balance irregularities identifying high risk fallers quickly and reliably. Based on research involving over 3,600 subjects, the Stepscan Fall Risk Score is an evidence -based measurement that can be used in conjunction with already established fall risk intervention strategies to reduce the number of falls within your facility.
To learn more about how Stepscan can help you better understand the risk profile of your resident community, click here or call 1.833.552.4248 to speak with a Product Specialist