Sensor technologies and fall prevention: Sensor technologies to assess fall risk in long-term care residents with dementia and gait in healthy older adults

Nienke Maria Kosse

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Fall prevention is important for old adults residing at home or a nursing home. Fall prevention for community-dwelling older adults requires a different approach than for nursing home residents. However, in both cases sensor technologies may contribute to effective and personalized prevention due to their ability to detect small, but essential changes before the manifestation of mobility problems or a fall.

    Sensor technologies could be used in nursing homes to monitor residents with dementia 24/7 and to give a notification when a high fall risk situation occurs. To develop such a fall prevention system it is necessary to determine the type of sensors that are most suitable to monitor residents with dementia, the factors that contribute to a fall, and the requirements end users (nursing staff) think as important for a fall prevention system. The present thesis addressed these factors providing a basis for a sensor system that can recognize situations prior to a fall, offering the possibility to intervene early.

    Mobility problems are often the underlying cause of a fall. Sensor technology, as a user-friendly and inexpensive device, could detect those mobility problems early in community-dwelling older adults. The thesis shows that smart devices, more specifically the iPod Touch, is a valid and reliable instruments to assess walking and balance abilities. Normative data about changes in gait due to natural aging might be used to detect changes, due to reduced physical functioning or diseases, in an early stage. Consequently, interventions can be started early to prevent further deterioration and reduce the risk of falling.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Hortobagyi, Tibor, Supervisor
    • Lamoth, Claudine, Co-supervisor
    • Vuillerme, Nicolas, Co-supervisor, External person
    Award date15-Jun-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-8885-4
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8883-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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