Sampada S Jahagirdar
Abstract: Introduction: Increased longevity has caused age related falls to become a major public health issue. Though much work has been done in devising interventions for prevention of falls in elderly, none of the interventions have been found to be effective for persons aged 80 years and above. Aims and Objectives: As it is known that balance reactions are critical for falls prevention and can be learnt by practice, this study attempts to develop a specialized balance intervention comprising of perturbations for an octagenarian. Methodology: An 86-year old man presenting with balance loss and lumbar canal stenosis was given a balance intervention comprising of self-initiated and externally generated perturbations for 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Balance was assessed on Unipedal Stance test (UPST), Functional Reach Test (FRT) and Timed Up and Go (TUG) test at the end of 4 weeks and then at the end of 6 weeks. Results: UPST showed increase in time for standing on one leg. FRT showed an improvement in the distance reached. The TUG test showed reduction in time taken. Conclusion: A one-to-one balance intervention including perturbation training is an effective way to improve balance in elderly above 80 years of age.
Keywords: Balance, Falls, Elderly, Perturbations