Enhancing Functional Balance and Mobility Among Older People Living in Long-Term Care Facilities

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This study of long-term care residents investigated whether a balance strategy training program (BSTP) developed for older people living in the community is effective in improving functional mobility and reducing falls when adapted to resident functional abilities. The BSTP was delivered twice weekly over 12 weeks. Outcome measures compared pre- and postintervention measured Timed Up and Go, Functional Reach, timed 5 sit-to-stand movements, and number of falls in 12 weeks before intervention with 12-week follow-up period. Forty-seven residents participated, 26 of whom were cognitively impaired. There was a significant improvement in all functional balance and mobility measures, but this was clinically significant only in 5 sit-to-stand time. There was no reduction in falls, although this outcome was confounded by all fallers being acutely ill at the time of falling. These results suggest participation in a BSTP by residents of long-term care improves resident functional mobility and balance.

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