Senior Fall Prevention — Tai Chi and Otago!

Here is a summary of the Son et al research study.

Methods: A randomized trial in which subjects were assigned to 1 of 2 groups:  the Tai Chi (TC) group (n =21; age, 72.8) which participated in a modified Sun-style TC exercise program; Otago group (n =24; age, 71.5) which participated in the Otago exercise program.

Tests measured before and after:

  • The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test
  • functional reach (FR) test
  • one-leg standing (OLS) test
  • 5 times sit-to-stand test (5 ×STS)
  • 30-second sit-to-stand (30s STS) test
  • gait parameters (gait velocity, step length, step width, stride time, and cadence)

Participants in the TC and Otago groups attended 60-minute practice sessions twice a week for 12 consecutive weeks.

The findings from this study support the efficacy of the Tai Chi (TC) and Otago exercise programs in improving mobility in the subjects. Both groups showed statistically significant improvements in balance (TUG and OLS tests), lower extremity strength (5×STS and 30s STS tests), and spatiotemporal gait parameters, except for step width and step length (P < .05).  Furthermore, the Otago group showed greater improvement in lower extremity strength, whereas the TC group showed greater improvement in balance (OLS test). Also, the TC group has shown greater improvement in gait velocity after TC training program compared with the Otago exercise program.

To see the full study, see this link:

Medicare/CMS-including bundled payment programs, accountable care organizations (ACOs), Medicare Advantage plans and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have a new emphasis on value-based health care. Good outcomes with senior fall prevention is key to avoiding hospital re-admissions.

CDC STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Death and Injuries) supports this. See link for an excellent handout you can use with your seniors:

STEADI coordinates well with the goals of value-based health care, better rehab outcomes, and decrease medical costs. Therefore, the quadruple aim is achieved. It has a multitude of evidenced based research. I’ve used STEADI successfully for 15 years. It is fun and easy to use!

EXCITING TIMES!  October 2019 U.S. Senate Committee on Aging report:

  • How is your state doing, see page 10?
  • Upper State New York did a STEADI- based program and reduced hospitalizations due to falls by 40%! See pages 20-21
  • Examine how Epic EHR integrated STEADI. See how innovative programs in different states decreased senior falls with home environment safety changes, effective community balance programs, and medication recommendations

I provide Fall Prevention Classes to MDs, Medical Professionals, Insurance Companies and Senior Communities. Let’s decrease re‑hospitalizations!

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