Title

Comparison of Functional Reach in Fallers and Nonfallers in an Independent Retirement Community

ISBN or ISSN

0270-3181

Volume

15

Issue

4

Publication Date / Copyright Date

1998

First Page

33

Last Page

40

Publisher

Taylor & Francis Inc.

DOI Number

10.1080/J148V15n04_03

Abstract

The older population in America is steadily increasing. Additionally, falls increase dramatically with age. Balance disorders and postural control changes have been found to contribute to falls sustained by the elderly. Functional Reach (FR) has been proposed as a simple balance assessment tool which is valid, reliable, and sensitive to changes in balance. The aim of this study was to compare the FR of fallers and nonfallers living independently in a retirement community. Fifty-two subjects were divided into three age groups and categorized by fall status. The first three correctly performed FR trials were measured and recorded. After the age of 84 years, FR significantly decreases. There were no significant differences in the FR between fallers and nonfallers among community dwelling seniors. A simple standardized balance assessment tool needs to be developed to identify those older people at risk for falling. Functional Reach has the potential to be such a tool. However, FR needs to be standardized according to the age and activity level of the population being tested.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences

Keywords

Functional Reach, Falls, Balance Assessment, Elderly

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