Evaluation of gait characteristics and ground reaction forces in cognitively declined older adults with an emphasis on slip-induced falls

Thurmon Lockhart, Sukwon Kim, Radhika Kapur, Shannon Jarrott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between gait adaptation and slip/fall risk of older adults with cognitive impairments. The study investigated the gait characteristics of six healthy older adults and five older adults with dementia. Participants walked on an instrumented walkway at their preferred walking speeds. After ensuring that the preferred walking speeds were consistent, participants' natural posture and ground reaction forces were measured. The results suggested that participants with dementia walked more cautiously yet demanded more friction at the shoe/floor interface at the time of heel contact, increasing the risk of slip initiation. To reduce the risk of slip-induced falls among older adults with dementia, specific gait training to reduce friction demand requirements by increasing the transfer speed of the whole body mass is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalAssistive Technology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Gait
  • Slips and falls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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