Nowadays, that the population is gradually aged and in need of prevention and treatment of various diseases, exercise in senescence becomes essential. Therefore, ensuring good health and functionality of the older adults is an important priority of health systems worldwide. The course content aims to provide students with (a) knowledge regarding the degenerative effects of aging on human systems, (b) basic information on mental and physical health of older people and (c) knowledge on how and which exercise can counteract the age-related degeneration and enhance older adults functionality and life quality. Furthermore, since falls and their consequences are a very important issue in senescence, the present course focuses among others on the mechanisms of dynamic stability as well as balance control and it aims to provide students with the appropriate knowledge for developing tailored training exercise programs targeting to fall prevention. Specifically, fundamental knowledge is provided regarding the basic principles of maintaining balance, how this ability is affected by ageing or various pathologies and finally how exercise can improve balance control. Accordingly, within the lesson following key concepts are elaborated: static and dynamic balance, pedobarography, balance training and balance evaluation (measurements in laboratory and field test). Thus, the future graduate will be able to create new intervention programs to improve balance in older adults.
In addition to the theoretical background, the students will evaluate in praxis balance ability of older adults by means of laboratory measurements as well as field tests. Furthermore, the students will practice on exercising older adults considering when planning the required training programs all the entailed knowledge provided in class theory.
Upon successful course completion the student will be able to
• Be aware of the age related degenerative effects on the human body (especially on the neuromuscular system)
• Assess the physical condition of the elderly
• Design targeted and specialized exercise and physical activity programs that respond to the needs of the elderly and help them maintain their autonomy and functionality.
• Adapt training programs to the requirements and characteristics of the senior citizen, and to each practitioner in general
• Perform specialized exercise and physical activity programs that meet the needs of the elderly and help them maintain their autonomy and functionality.
• Identify problems within the movement
• Know the somatosensory systems involved in maintaining balance
• Know the mechanisms of equilibrium and dynamic stability control
• Organize and execute a balance improvement program
• Perform measurements, record and process data from balance evaluation measurements
• Interpret balance measurement results
• Identify and counteract the causes of balance loss
• Collaborate with other specialties (doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, etc.) to promote practitioner's health
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course is performed by lectures and seminars in the Department's auditorium as well as praxis taking place at Elderly Protection Centre (Κ.Α.Π.Η.). Consequently, theory is put into practice as students design and organize workout programs for older people.
01. The epidemiology of aging. Indicators of determining the quality of life of the elderly
02. Degenerative effects of aging on the functionality and autonomy of the elderly
03. The effect of aging on the function of the musculoskeletal system
04. The effect of aging on the central nervous system
05. The effect of aging on the interaction of the central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system.
06. Assessment of functionality and dynamic balance in older people
07. Alternative forms of exercise and practice of dynamic stability
08. Exercise programs for muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, physical conditining and balance
09. Alternative forms of exercise in senescence
10. Preventing falls in senescence (Theory and research)
11. The Impact of Aging on Mental Health – The role of Physical Activity
12. Introduction to balance
13. Static and dynamic balance
14. Age related effects on balance
15. Description of Elderly Pathologies affecting Balance
16. Balance assessment with field tests and questionnaires
17. Balance assessment with laboratory instruments: dynamometer
18. Balance assessment with laboratory instruments: posturography
19. Laboratory balance measurements
20. Methods for improving balance
21. Practical examples of training programs
22. Quiz annotation - answer questions
23. 6 hours of team coursework presentation and commentary
24. 26 hours internship at Elderly Care Centre (ΚΑΠΗ)
Senescence, neuromuscular system, Pathologies, Age related adaptations, Exercise, Fall prevention, Balance, Balance evaluation
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
1. Σωστή άσκηση στην Τρίτη Ηλικία, Patricia Brill, ISBN: 9602781483, Εκδότης: Σάλτου Ελισάβετ
2. Γυμναστική στην Τρίτη Ηλικία, Σταύρος Δεδούκος, Φώτης Τσούμος, ISBN: 9607378253, Εκδότης: ΧΡ.ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ - ΑΙΜ.ΓΟΛΕΜΗΣ Ο.Ε
3. Στάση κίνηση και ισορροπία Ροσμπόγλου Σ. 2008, Εκδόσεις dKS