• Item Distribution in the Berg Balance Scale: A Problem for Use With Community-Living Older Adults

    7 days ago - By LWW

    Background and Purpose:
    The Berg Balance Scale is a commonly used clinical test measure to determine balance performance and fall risk. However, a ceiling effect of the BBS has been reported in studies of older adults with relatively higher levels of physical performance. The underlying reason for this ceiling effect may be that the task items in the BBS are insufficiently challenging to discriminate individuals with less severe balance limitations. The purpose of this study was to investigate the unidimensional construct, item difficulty hierarchy, and item distribution of the BBS in...
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  • Effect of Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex on Elbow Flexor Muscle Strength in the Very Old

    Effect of Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex on Elbow Flexor Muscle Strength in the Very Old

    7 days ago - By LWW

    Background and Purpose:
    Muscle weakness predisposes older adults to a fourfold increase in functional limitations and has previously been associated with reduced motor cortex excitability in aging adults. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a single session of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the motor cortex would increase elbow flexion muscle strength and electromyographic amplitude in very old individuals.
    Methods:
    Eleven very old individuals-85.8 years-performed 3 maximal isometric elbow flexion contractions before and after 20 minutes of sham or anodal...
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  • Predictors of Improvement in Physical Function in Older Adults in an Evidence-Based Physical Activity Program

    Predictors of Improvement in Physical Function in Older Adults in an Evidence-Based Physical Activity Program

    7 days ago - By LWW

    Background and Purpose:
    Declines in strength, flexibility, and balance in older adults can lead to injuries and loss of independence and are particularly common in those of greater age and in worse health. EnhanceFitness is a nationally disseminated, evidence-based group exercise program for older adults that has been shown to improve function through cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises. This article examines changes in, and predictors of, participant physical function from baseline through 2 program cycles of EF as measured by 3 physical function tests: arm curls...
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  • Examining the Effects of an Otago-Based Home Exercise Program on Falls and Fall Risks in an Assisted Living Facility

    Examining the Effects of an Otago-Based Home Exercise Program on Falls and Fall Risks in an Assisted Living Facility

    7 days ago - By LWW

    Background and Purpose:
    The Otago exercise program is a strengthening, balance, and walking program designed to decrease falls among community-dwelling older adults. Few studies have examined the effects of the Otago program in an assisted living environment. The purpose of the current study was to assess the effects of an Otago-based home exercise program in decreasing falls and the risk of falls among older adults living in an assisted living facility.
    Methods:
    A retrospective chart review of 30 individuals residing at either of 2 assisted living facilities in central Florida was...
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  • Four Months of Wearing a Balance Orthotic Improves Measures of Balance and Mobility Among a Cohort of Community-Living Older Adults

    Four Months of Wearing a Balance Orthotic Improves Measures of Balance and Mobility Among a Cohort of Community-Living Older Adults

    7 days ago - By LWW

    Background and Purpose:
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there were 29 million falls and 7 million injuries in 2014 in the United States. Falls, decreased balance, and mobility disability are common in older adults and often result in loss of independence. Finding interventions to address these issues is important, as this age group is growing exponentially. Prior studies indicate balance and mobility can be improved by the balance-based torso-weighting assessment implemented through wear of a balance orthotic. This study sought to determine the impact of...
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  • Balance and Functional Outcomes for Older Community-Dwelling Adults Who Practice Tai Chi and Those Who Do Not: A Comparative Study

    Balance and Functional Outcomes for Older Community-Dwelling Adults Who Practice Tai Chi and Those Who Do Not: A Comparative Study

    7 days ago - By LWW

    Background and Purpose:
    A growing body of literature substantiates that Tai Chi is a form of exercise that may help older adults increase strength, improve balance, lower fall rates, and experience less fear of falling. Few studies, however, offer controlled experimental design and simultaneously investigate multiple factors known to contribute to fall risk. The purpose of this study was to compare performance on measures relating to fall risk (strength, balance, functional mobility, and fear of falling) in older community-dwelling adults who participated in a community-based Tai Chi...
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