Honors Theses

Author(s)

Jamie Wynk

Advisor

Kurt Jackson PT, Ph.D., GCS

Department

Health and Sport Science and Physical Therapy

Publication Date

4-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Elderly individuals, especially those with dementia, are at an increased risk for falls. These falls can result in extremely serious injuries. However, little is known as to what factors put an Alzheimer’s patient most at risk for falls. This study seeks to determine which known fall risk factors are experienced by adults with dementia who attend adult day services. By understanding what risk factors put an individual at an increased likelihood for falls, a specific intervention can be designed to prevent falls in this population.

Participants: To be included in this study, participants had to attend Goodwill Easter Seals Adult Day Service and have a diagnosis of dementia. There were 19 participants in this study (8 male) with an average age of 72 years old (ranged 64-86 years old).

Testing Procedure: Participants were assessed for cognitive function by using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Testing also included a 6 m gait test, the Timed Up and Go test, a 30 second sit to stand test, and a grip strength test.

Results: The average MoCA score (16 points) is consistent with MoCA scores for cognitively impaired or Alzheimer’s population. MoCA scores ranged greatly (0-29 points) signifying a wide range of cognitive abilities among this population. Participants scored significantly worse than the age matched normative values for each measure, signifying an increase in fall risk by each parameter.

Conclusion: In the future, an intervention should be designed that can be easily implemented in the day services and especially target the individual’s strength.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Sports Sciences


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