Balance and mobility disorders resulting in falls among the elderly population pose a serious public health problem in the United States. Costs associated with falls among the elderly are estimated to range from $75 billion to $100 billion. Coupling this statistic with the fact that adults over the age of 65 represent the fastest-growing population in the United States suggests an immediate need for activity programs specifically designed to reduce physical frailty and the rising incidence of falls among the older adult population. FallProof!: A Comprehensive Balance and Mobility Training Program is the first comprehensive and structured balance and mobility training program to address these needs.
Traditionally, exercise programs designed to address physical frailty and falls have adopted one-dimensional approaches of aerobic exercise, resistance training, or flexibility training. However, research has shown that falls occur as a result of multiple risk factors, both internal and external, and the interplay of multiple body systems. FallProof! presents a multidimensional approach that systematically manipulates the individual's internal capabilities, the goals of the task being performed, and the environment in which the task is performed. This approach has been field tested with considerable success by fitness instructors and rehabilitative specialists working in a range of instructional settings.
FallProof! offers the following benefits:
-Flexibility. Program participants can engage in group activities that take into account their individual abilities so that the program is not too easy or too difficult for them.
-Guidance. FallProof! illustrates the easiest and safest ways to present each of the program's exercise components, addressing issues from safety concerns to the best ways to offer feedback to participants.
-Supplemental materials. Reproducible health, assessment, and safety questionnaires help program instructors gather crucial information and save time and energy.
-Results. The FallProof! program has been proven to reduce the risk of falling in participants who've completed one or more rotations of the program.
FallProof! is divided into three parts. Part I provides an introduction to the body systems that contribute to balance and mobility and common age-related changes occurring in each of these systems. It also identifies the multifactorial causes of falls and describes the common medical conditions (arthritis, joint replacement surgery, osteoporosis, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes) and medications known to adversely affect balance and mobility. Part II provides suggestions on balance assessments and details the core program. And finally, Part III describes how to incorporate contemporary motor learning principles to foster optimal learning, develop lesson plans, organize the classroom environment for optimal safety and efficiency, and communicate with program participants.
FallProof! is a practical manual that blends the latest theory into practical applications. It will prove a valuable resource for physical activity instructors and health care professionals working with older adults in physical activity settings, and it will also be helpful for assessing and designing programs to improve mobility and balance.