Viktorija Piščalkienė, Jurgita Knašienė, Edgaras Lapinskas, Laura Rutkauskienė, Indrė Knyvienė


The aim of the research: to assess the falls occurring among the old and elderly persons influencing their physical and cognitive expression and relationships. Research methods: analysis of the scientific literature, tests (grip strength measurement, dynamic balance assessment, “The timed Up and Go” test, static balance assessment by the modified “Romberg test”and the machine ”Sigma Balance PAD”, body height and body weight measurements, mental performance evaluation by the MMSE test, oral interviews (surveys), statistical data analysis using SPSS 17 (descriptive statistics, T test, Anova test, correlation analysis). Persons targeted at the research: The study involved 65 people whose average age was 74.3 years. Minimum age – 60 years, maximum,- 86 years. The subjects were divided according to age groups: 60-74 years (41.3%) and 75 years or more (58.7%) persons Results: The results of the Romberg test tended to worsen in the face of the complexity of the task requirements. The subjects succeeded to better perform the Romberg test with their eyes open than closed. The task “The timed up and go” test took the average time – 15.9 sec. The minimum mental activity test (MMSE) showed that more than 2/3 of the elderly and old persons had normal cognitive functioning, and the rest had smaller or larger problems regarding these functions. In assessing the power of a standard hand dynamometer it was found that the right and left-hand averaged 24 kg. The left upper arm thickness is 31.9 cm, the right 32.5 cm The left calf thickness – 38.3 cm, the right – 38.2 cm. The static balance was measured using “Sigma Balance Pad”. However, this device did not evaluate the balance of all test persons but only of to those who on their own managed to stand on an unstable platform. The length of the visual field was 12.6 cm, and the size of the visual area was 0.46 cm2. The average, and in some cases, a strong statistical deviation between the right and left hand grip strength, was measured on the dynamometer, and static and dynamic balance,calf thickness, and even cognitive functions were evaluated by MMSE. Evaluating the statistical balance, relevant differences appeared which show that the lengt of the visual field at the time of measuring is connected with the size of the visual area (strong correlation). Also, the visual length is statistically significantly associated with the subjects’ calf thickness (weak statistical relationship). It was found that individuals who currently live a physically active life have better dynamic balance indicators and better mental capacities (status?). Individuals with signs of malnutrition whose body mass index (BMI) is lower than the norm show weaker MMSE results. These conclusions are statistically significant (p ≤ 0.05). The persons who participated in the study and who over the past six months have not experienced any falls, had a stronger left and right grip strenght (p ≤ 0.05). The task “The timed up and go”test was more quickly performed by the group of inexperienced persons (p ≤ 0.05). The group of individuals who did not experience fallings had improved static balance indicators (p ≤ 0.05). Individuals who are physically more active (they practice walking, working in the garden, and so on) are less likely to experience fallings (p ≤ 0.05).

Keyword(s): the elderly and older persons; evaluation of the static and dynamic balance; falls; assessment of the mental (cognitive) performance (MMSE); physical activity. The aim of the research: to assess the falls occurring
DOI: 10.5200/sm-hs.2016.086
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