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With the increasing number of elderly in Singapore, the number of falls has also rapidly increased. For the average adult, a slight fall down a flight of stairs may result in a couple of bruises or just some abrasions. However, for the elderly it may possibly mean severe long-term complications. According to the Singapore’s Emergency Departments, 85 percent of all trauma cases in elderly are due to falls. These injuries, intern causes long stays in the hospitals and high costs. Falls, although preventable is very common especially at the degenerative age when their bone and muscle strength is deteriorating. It is one of the main causes of death and permanent physical impairment. This essay will state the increasing problem of falls among elderly and to evaluate if with the help of practising tai chi on a regular basis, will it help effectively reduce the amount of fall occurrences. The intent of this experiment is to search for an operational method to help the elderly use tai chi as a method to help them strengthen muscle and to increase balance.
Appraise the evidence
Using the major inclusion criteria, a systemic literature review was conducted. Randomized control trials, Tai chi intervention, elderly after the age of 60, falls as outcome measures, comprehensive literature and selected evidence-based health care databases were used. A suitable concealment method is used, in which the quality was evaluated by two separate reviewers who critically appraised the identified studies. Although, it was a blinded experiment to the participants and assessors, another reviewer was requested to appraise the outcome. Throughout the trial process, all the outcomes were calculated in a regular, binding and in a consistent manner.
Summary of best practice
Understanding the best way to tackle the problem if increasing falls is vital this includes recognising the factors and risks. One trial used participants within the age of 68 and 84 years old. They took into consideration the style of the practice, the length and regularity. This varied between 16 hours a week to 120 hours a week that ran for 6 months to 1 year. Another trial, had classes 3 times a week that ran for 15 months to 2 years which was trained by certified specialised trainers. To add on it was also assisted by healthcare professionals. The trial comprised behavioural and therapeutic methods to reduce the phobia of falling. Although this trial benefited majority of the participants, it did not have much impact on the soon-to-be frail elderly people. Only the slightly stronger ones benefited. Therefore, this training should be associated with other skills like stability, bearing and even some knowledge to help them understand the risks and effects involved.
Even though all hospitals in Singapore have executed various strategies to reduce the rate of falls, there is still a rising concern for the increasing number of falls. Although predicting that practicing tai chi can decline the rate of falls among the elderly, the triggering methods remains fundamentally undetermined. The collaborative use of one’s physical, emotional and mental energy to consistently exercise daily may be the ultimate reason. It is imperative for the researchers who are piloting these programmes to be conscious about the expanded danger in even more falls occurring. Healthcare professional should understand the implications, keeping in mind the end goal to give the best advice to patients in the end.
In regards to, the best care for these elderly, it may be necessary for the nurses and the tai chi professionals involved to operate together since the nurses will be able to evaluate the weaknesses and the participant’s limitations to practice tai chi. With that said, after 11 weeks of doing the exercises, the specific participants were less likely to fall by 61 percent. Exercise programmes can definitely enhance one’s strength, stamina and flexibility and after various controlled trials the outcome has indicated a huge reduction in falls. But most trials come with its limitations. One example is resource restrictions. Tai chi originates in China and has been practiced for years traditionally. Therefore, only the much stronger older participants benefit from this implementation.
Ultimately, elderly people above the age of 60 will benefit with the consistent practice of tai chi compared to other active interventions to decrease the risks and sum of falls. The essay explains the ongoing challenges of reducing the number of fall, among the elderly above the age of 60 and how tai chi has and will benefit the weaker population to strengthen their physical, emotional and mental ability with consistent balance training and meditation. To incorporate tai chi as the main form of balance and gait training as part of their daily exercise routine is the key implementation.
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