Helping Seniors Stand Tall

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With a growing and more active senior population, combined with the fact that every 11 seconds* an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, there is no better time than now to implement a clinically-proven and easily accessible fall prevention program like Stand Tall.  

Many do not realize the impact of this public health epidemic, but the dangers of falling affect 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 and the total cost of fall-related injuries to Medicare is over $34 billion each year.
— Tiffany Shubert, PhD, PT, and Fall Prevention Expert

Stand Tall, a fall prevention solution developed by digital healthcare pioneer Reflexion Health, uses a virtual exercise rehabilitation assistant (VERA), supported by the world-renowned Otago Exercise Program, to deliver evidence-based fall prevention programs that reduce the risk of falling in older adults.  With Stand Tall, seniors engage with a friendly avatar to improve their strength and balance in order to ultimately help prevent future falls.

So, does this new, more modern approach to fall prevention work?  

We chatted with Terrie Peters, the Health & Fitness Coordinator at The Commons at Elk Grove, and Jennifer Mojado, Fitness Coordinator at The Commons on Thornton, to hear their thoughts on effectiveness of the Stand Tall program in real-world settings.  

"Since we started the program in September of 2016, we've seen positive progress," said Terrie with enthusiasm.  "Our residents' walk has improved, they are holding their bodies in better position, and I see them getting stronger. Some residents feel better after and many have noticed an improvement in increased body awareness.”

Jennifer Mojado who leads all the physical fitness programs at The Commons on Thornton, another award-winning senior center agreed, "Our residents are happy to receive this one-on-one attention while doing standing exercise movements. It makes them feel safe and secure about their surroundings and I watch from the sidelines for additional support.”

What Powers Stand Tall?

The ‘Stand Tall’ solution is an integrated television screen that leverages 3D motion capture technology and is typically set up in the gym area of senior centers and nursing homes. Participant exercises are selected based on their individual clinical needs and updated according to interactions and communications between the user and their ‘Stand Tall’ champion. VERA, the virtual avatar, guides the user through an interactive and personalized physical therapy exercise program to strengthen the user’s balance and provide a prevention mechanism against falls.

When I first heard about the Stand Tall program, I googled like I do most things because I wanted to learn much more about it. I watched the demo online and thought it looked like a lot of fun to try out. After training with the Reflexion Health clinical team, I could see how much it would make a difference in our fall prevention program...and it has,” Jennifer added.

"My seniors are completely engaged with the Stand Tall program and I love it too.  The program allows me to be the ‘good cop’ to balance and reinforce VERA's constructive recommendations,” highlighted Terri. "I also like the fact that I can play the video back of my residents doing their exercises.  This instant feedback really helps improve their form."

Another facility that has experienced positive results with the Stand Tall program is Brooks Rehabilitation.  In fact, their Bartram Lakes location recently expanded the availability of the program with a series of open houses last November.

"As a recognized leader in providing a system of world-class rehabilitation solutions, we immediately saw the value of launching the Stand Tall program at our facilities," said Elaine Serio, administrator at Bartram Lakes. "After an initial trial period and positive interest from our senior community, we are excited to expand the availability of this important initiative."

Can Stand Tall expand?

When asked if other senior centers or nursing homes should embrace the Stand Tall program, Terri was adamant.  "Get it," she emphasized.  "I truly feel that this is the best program for residents to build independence, become stronger, and improve their gait. It's the best program I've found to improve balance."

Jennifer agreed, "I would encourage other facilities to launch the Stand Tall program. Our residents think it’s very fun and helpful to them. When they leave their sessions they are feeling more and more confident about their daily activities."

For more information about the Stand Tall fall prevention solution, please visit: http://reflexionhealth.com/stand-tall

 

* according to the National Council on Aging