Effect of Balance Exercise on Risk of Falls among Institutionalized Elders In Lattakia, Syria
Poor balance is a major risk factor for falls. Exercise which specifically improves balance is the most effective intervention for preventing falls. Objective: Determine the effect of balance exercise on risk of falls among institutionalized elderly in Lattakia, Syria. Setting: The study was carried out in the three available homes for elderly people in Lattakia, Syria. Subjects: The study subjects comprised 40 elderly persons. They were divided randomly into two equal groups: study and control. Each group comprised 20 elders where elders in the control group were left to their routine while those in the study group were subjected to balance exercise program for three months. Tools: Two tools were used for data collection: 1) the Tinetti Balance Assessment Tool and 2) the sociodemographic and clinical structure interview schedule. Results: The implemented exercise had a positive effect on risk of fall among elders where about a quarter showed no risk of falls and about a quarter showed improvements in their balance and gait status. Conclusion: The balance exercise succeeded in decreasing the risk of fall among elders. This improvement was significantly affected by the previous history of fall. Recommendations: Encourage elders to perform balance exercise in their daily routine to maintain balance and improve gait status and consequently prevent fall.