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AACC Practitioners Message Board


Topic: Two paired topics: 1) Valid and practical balance assessments 2) Exercise guidelines for fall prevention
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Sue
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Sue (5 Posts) from United States on Aug 5, 2009:

Which tools are best for assessing an individual’s risk of falling? What are your favorites and or some that are also easy, quick and practical? Are there specific exercise guidelines practitioners can use for fall prevention?


A
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A (4 Posts) from United States on Aug 7, 2009:

I like to use the Senior Fitness Test to assess my clients. Not sure of specific balance-related tests. What are good ones to use?


Sue
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Sue (5 Posts) from United States on Aug 12, 2009:

Thank you for participating! I too think the Rikli Jones Senior Fitness Tests,you suggested, are very valuable and specific to components of balance like strength, flexibility, agility. They are also simple to do. Another great perk. I think that of those tests, the Get up and Go is the most balance specific. It measures their strength to get up, the agility and balance to move around an obstacle, slow down, turn, speed up, etc. And it's simple to do. I like too that the tests have norms. My experience with their norms is their norms were really spry individuals. MOst of my clients come out on the low end of their norms. But i do specialize in older frailer. Overall, i think it's best to compare tests on one person over time. Ie: test then re-test after training for 3-6 months. I also really like Debra Rose's Fallproof. the CTSIB test she recommmends and describes is really sensitive about where specifically balance deficits come from. The test has 4 parts. Eyes open on a solid surface, eyes closed on a solid surface; then the same two conditions, but done on a double stack of balance pads. Eyes closed balance problems can suggest several problems, weak legs, lack of balance confidence or vestibular difficulties. Rose does a great job of explaining to us what the various results of the test will suggest to a trainer. So i really like to use especially the CTSIB. it helps me know what kinds of activities best suit my client. We now have activities we can use to suit certain balance systems. My book, ABLE Bodies Balance Training has activities suitable for vestibular, somatic, visual or automatic systems for balance; as well as strength, posture and flexibility, because all of those systems contribute to balance. Another great resourse i have used the last few years are tests designed and tested by Dr Fay Horak - BestEst tests for estimate balance problems Here is the web link to that http://BESTest.us . some of what she does is adds on to other existing tests. For example her Get up and go test has a variation for stepping over an obstacle and another condition where the subject is asked to count backwards. Finally, here's another resource, this one is FREE from the NIA. it's NIH's new FREE book: Exercise & Phyical Activity. Its for older adults and is exercises, etc they can do in their homes. it is well written with great pics and encorporates flexibilty endurance strength and balance. Also nutrition and just staying active. You can order many copies. all free. National Institute on Aging provides.


Sue
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Sue (5 Posts) from United States on Aug 17, 2009:

Here are two more resources brot to my attention that may contribute. ACSM has new guidelines for testing and screning older adults. this from Elain Cress at University of Georgia, Athens. She is a professor of Gerontology there. ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Pres****tion 7th Ed. Change: Age (men > 45; women >55) has been removed as putting a person immediately at moderate risk. Age is one of 8 risk factors. An 85 year old with no other risk factors would be low risk and therefore physician supervised max testing or supervised exercise is at the discretion of the exercise professional. Members should review the 7th edition for the new risk classification system. Kudos’s to our researchers in aging and advocates for clarifying that age is not synonymous with disease. also as a screening tool she recommends: SCREENING: Exercise And Screening for You with the very catchy acronym EASY. It’s an excellent interactive tool building upon the revised PAR-Q. Give it a try at: http://www.easyforyou.info/


louis
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louis (2 Posts) from United States on Feb 21, 2010:

A new waist pull perturbation balance assessment method, The Spring Scale Test (SST) has been reported by Louis DePasquale PT in Jl. of Geriatric Physical Therapy Vol 32 no 4 2009. Reliability and validity esults for 58 active independent community residing older adults are reported employing percent of total body weight as the clinical performance measure. The SST has induced stepping treatment paradigm applications as well.




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