How Tripping Seniors On Purpose May Be Helpful

CHICAGO (AP) — Researchers are tripping seniors on purpose, and it’s not some kind of warped practical joke.

The experiment is among techniques being studied to prevent falls, the leading cause of injury in older adults. Falls in the elderly cost $30 billion yearly to treat and can send them spiraling into poor health and disability.

Conventional efforts to prevent falls include exercises to boost strength and balance, but researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago are trying a completely different approach. It’s based on promising, preliminary results with a lab-built walkway that causes people to unexpectedly trip, as if stepping on a banana peel.

This July 28, 2014 photo shows Clive Pai, a University of Illinois-Chicago physical therapy professor, left, and physical therapy assistant professor Tanvi Bhatt, right, watching Mary Kaye, 81 as she demonstrates a treadmill balance session at the school in Chicago.(Photo: M. Spencer Green, AP)

This July 28, 2014 photo shows Clive Pai, a University of Illinois-Chicago physical therapy professor, left, and physical therapy assistant professor Tanvi Bhatt, right, watching Mary Kaye, 81 as she demonstrates a treadmill balance session at the school in Chicago.(Photo: M. Spencer Green, AP)

 

Read more and watch the video demonstration here.

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