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Can a tailored exercise intervention reduce falls risk in older people with dementia?

Professor Jacqueline Close, Prof Henry Brodaty, Professor Susan Kurrle
Research Centre DCRC Assessment and Better Care
Partner Institution Neuroscience Research Australia
Project Description

There is currently no evidence that falls can be prevented in community dwelling older people with dementia despite the fact that they are at substantially increased risk of falls and fractures.

This project is part of a systematic approach to understanding the nature of falls risk in older people with dementia and developing strategies to modify future risk. Our previous work has highlighted that a number of potentially modifiable physiological variables are important independent risk factors for falls in this population but evidence of the effect of intervention to modify risk is lacking.

We need 60 people aged 60 years and above with a diagnosis of dementia to undergo a tailored exercise intervention which will target identified remediable deficits in physiological performance. The 6 month exercise program will be led by an experienced research physiotherapist with many years of experience delivering exercise interventions to older community dwelling people.

Key to the sustainability of the intervention will be the involvement of carers who will be asked to be involved in the delivery of the program.

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