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Are you aged between 65-80 and concerned about your balance/falling?

Posted by Alice Hardy (Admin) 3 weeks ago

Are you concerned that your balance is not good, or have you had a fall? Are you aged between 65 and 80 years? We would like to hear from you, for research purposes. Please read on: 

As people age the risk of falls increases. Falls are the world’s leading cause of unintentional injury and hip fractures and may increase risk of mortality, especially in the over 60s. They result in a huge burden on years lived with disability, globally contributing to 38 million disability adjusted life years (DALY). Falls cost our NHS £2.3 billion each year.  

Multisensory exercise is proven to improve balance , both for people with inner ear balance disorders and older adults who are at risk for falls, or have fallen in the past year. Exercises are typically provided as a generic home exercise programme in the form of a pamphlet, for people to perform independently with routine check-ups. In some instances, people may be referred for supervised exercises either in a community setting (such as a falls clinic) or in a one-to-one setting. Many exercise programmes have been developed, but most provide only basic balance exercises to help improve balance. 

People with balance problems may rely more on vision for balance and may experience unpleasant feelings of motion, blurred vision and/or unsteadiness when moving their head while walking. Customised exercise programmes to reduce these symptoms have been developed and have shown promise in reducing symptoms and improving balance. Although customised exercises may provide additional benefits compared with traditional programmes, they are costly to run and require many face-to-face appointments with a physiotherapist.  

Recent advances in technology have allowed us to make a personalised, computerised, interactive home exercise programme (HOLOBalance), with funding from the European Community Horizon 2020. HOLOBalance provides aaugmented reality (AR) physiotherapist, exercises and games by projecting a hologram into your room via a lightweight headset. The system records you whilst you perform the exercises using body worn sensors, so that your physiotherapist can monitor your performance and progress and change your exercises without you having to visit them. Alternatively, you could visit a clinic and your clinician will be a hologram (HOLOBoxthat  will guide you through your exercises, monitoring you using sensors and advising you on technique. 

 In this project, we are investigating the feasibility and acceptability of providing a 10-week Holographic Balance Rehabilitation programme (HOLOBalance), compared to a commonly used balance rehabilitation programme (The OTAGO HEP). 

You may be suitable if you: 

  • Are aged between 65 and 80 
  • Can walk 500 metres outside (with or without a stick) 
  • Have fallen or are concerned about falling 
  • Able to attend a twice weekly rehab session for 10 weeks 
  • Are not currently participating in falls rehabilitation 
  • Do not have a neurological disorder (e.g. stroke) 
  • Do not have any acute medical issues that limit your ability to participate in an exercise programme 
  • Do not have low mood 
  • Do not have cognitive impairment 
You will be required to undergo a brief screening session to confirm eligibility prior to enrolment 

 If you are interested to participate and for further information please contact 

 E: carol.flavell@kcl.ac.uk or E: marousa.pavlou@kcl.ac.uk 

T: 07563069162 (leave a message) or 0207 848 6679 

Project website: https://holobalance.eu/  

Jack Stancel-Lewis (UCL), Carol Flavell (KCL), Marousa Pavlou (KCL), Doris-Eva Bamiou (UCL)

This post was edited on May 24, 2021 by Alice Hardy

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Comments (1)

Adrian Girling says... 1 week ago

Have you come across https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-06/ynu-waa060321.php ?

Basically a wearable accelerometer and finger vibrator to help older people maintain balance.  Maybe something which be looked at in parallel?

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