Park View Study Reveals 47% Fall Rate Reduction for Active Residents
Park View Community Campus in Woodville, WI is an aging in place community serving older adults of all lifestyles; independent living, assisted living, long term and short term care. Park View has a reputation for discovering and testing new programs designed to make the lives of their residents more fulfilling and enjoyable. Recently, a study was conducted to understand the impact of one of these innovative programs.
In partnership with Live 2 B Healthy, a new group fitness program designed to build muscle to improve the overall health and well-being of older adults was launched about 18 months ago. The program was specifically designed for Park View long term care residents.
The Live 2 B Healthy® group fitness program focuses on improving in 4 functional fitness areas: upper and lower body strength, flexibility and balance. As an evidence-based program, specific measures in each of these areas had been gathered and shared with Park View on four separate occasions since the outset. These performance reports showed both the impact this had on individual residents and served as a guide to help the Live 2 B Healthy® certified trainer modify the class to achieve the best outcome. The results in these 4 areas have been consistently positive at both the individual and overall class level.
“Besides improving in the 4 areas measured, we were also looking to quantify the benefit of the Live 2 B Healthy® resistance training class in terms of reducing falls within our skilled nursing community,” said Melissa Walthall, Park View Community Campus Administrator. “That’s a challenge since we’re talking about unique individuals with a variety of health situations. Nevertheless, we wanted to measure the overall impact of the class on our goal to reduce falls.”
We believed that those residents who attended class on a more regular basis would demonstrate a lower fall rate than the residents that attended class less often, or not at all. Our goal with this study was to first confirm there was a noticeable difference, and secondly to somehow quantify the magnitude of that difference.
- We agreed to measure falls as a function of resident class attendance.
- Almost 16 months of attendance data by month was gathered (mid-Sept 2015 – Dec 2017)
- Based on analysis of the data, ‘attended class on a more regular basis’ was defined as those who attended more than 60% of the class sessions.
- Individual residents were grouped into two attendance groups
- Those who attended > 60% of all sessions of the group fitness class
- And, those who attended < 60% of all sessions
- Attendance data was aggregated by month so residents could change attendance groups
- Fall data was:
- Gathered by month for the same 16 month period
- Segmented by attendance group
- Normalized for the two groups based on their respective overall populations allowing for a comparison of equally weighted results
- Although we observed a few instances where a resident had naturally declined in their functional fitness abilities even when they attended > 60% of the classes, these anomalies were not excluded nor was any data altered to adjust for this in the study so as to not bias our findings.
- There was considerable thought given to the question of how to time the fall results in comparison to the month of attendance. For example, how does high attendance in a given month affect the fall rate for that same month for that individual? With our limited number of observations we ignored this for the sake of not over-complicating matters. When studying the data at the group level over the long term, this consideration did not seem to matter anyway.
- Residents who attended > 60% of the class sessions each month were 47% less likely to fall
- Residents who attended < 60% of the class sessions each month had a much higher likelihood of falling (+ 88% higher chance)
“We felt all along that the impact would be significant and we’re very pleased to see that it clearly is. It’s motivated us to encourage more of our residents to attend class more regularly,” reported Walthall. “And, the results are so compelling that we’ll continue to measure this going forward.”
- Implement a resistance training program for older adults to help improve their functional fitness abilities and improve their overall well-being.
- Measure the impact of your resistance training program both in terms of the 4 functional fitness measures AND at the group level with respect to fall reduction.
- Share the results with community caregivers and encourage them to support the program by helping residents get to the class regularly.
- Celebrate your results with resident families and the surrounding community to build a strong pipeline of potential future residents.