Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development)
Body of Abstract: “Disrupt Aging!” says AARP’s CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins. In response to this battle cry, we will rethink current treatment practices and perceptions of the regenerative capacity of the aging body. Well-established scientific evidence demonstrates that physical activity is essential for mitigating metabolic disorders and functional decline. Numerous physiological and physical changes occur after 50 years of age including declining muscle size, bone density, tendon and ligament elasticity, and cardiovascular health. The curve of decline is determined by activity level and can be stabilized through targeted training programs at any age. While we have no control over our chronological age, we can positively impact our functional or physiological age. Developing targeted program to address these changes is integral to successfully reducing their impact. Therapists are in a unique position to promote active aging. How will we raise the bar? What traditional tools are valuable? What new complimentary tools are available in evidence-based testing, program design and therapy engineered to close the gap?
There are underutilized, traditional assessment tools that offer valuable information that can be used to develop programs and track progress. For example, traditional tests for flexibility and aerobic capacity offer an insight into the patient’s ADL skills and activity tolerance. Testing high power movements like sit-to-stand, stair-climbing and jumping is often a challenge in clinical settings but is an important piece of the puzzle for mobility, quality of life and independence that profoundly affects simple tasks. Quantitative mechanography assessment will be introduced to assess power, efficiency, and speed in less than 5 minutes with objective data. This can be used as a screening tool in relation to a fit reference population or, as tracking tool in rehabilitation therapy.
Past treatment methods will be compared to recent scientific evidence on the capacity of older adults to regain strength, power, aerobic capacity, and flexibility. Traditional treatments often address specific deficits but not the problem as a whole - ambulating safely v. jogging. Typically, impacting power with this population is difficult and potentially unsafe. Activity-based, side-alternating mechano-stimulation uses the body’s stretch-reflex to involuntarily activate the entire muscle chain in a physiologically correct way. Related research outcomes include increased power, reduction of spasticity, improvement of ambulation, balance, flexibility and trunk control. This high-repetition neuromuscular therapy is very safe with less of a load on joints, ligaments and tendons than walking across a room. Two other non-traditional methods include high intensity interval training and interval training with common equipment found in clinics.
Participants will experience multiple methods of assessing and treating older adults using traditional, non-traditional, and innovative methods to improve balance, flexibility and power, resulting in more robust engagement in all areas of life. They will collaborate with others to assess and develop a treatment plan using these tools and leave with a toolbox for assessment and remediation that can be directly applied to their current practice. Using lecture, case studies, hands-on activities, and discussion, we will review current research, re-examine traditional assessment and treatment methods, and explore innovative assessments and treatments.
Abbreviated Description: “Disrupt Aging!” says AARP’s CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins. This battle cry challenges us to rethink current practices and perceptions of aging. In this course, participants will experience multiple methods of assessing and treating older adults using traditional, non-traditional, and innovative methods to improve balance, flexibility and power, resulting in more robust engagement in life. Using lecture, case studies, hands-on activities, and discussion, we will review current research, re-examine traditional assessment and treatment methods, and explore new quantitative testing, innovative tools and methods. Participants will receive a toolbox for assessment and remediation that can be directly applied to their current practices.