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From The CriticsReviewer:Barbara Jean Billek-Sawhney, PT, EdD, GCS(Slippery Rock University)
Description:This book presents the balance and mobility program developed by the author, a co-director of the Center for Successful Aging at California State University at Fullerton.
Purpose:The purpose of the book is to serve as a "resource for experienced health care professionals and physical activity instructors" who want to develop and implement programs addressing balance and mobility in older adults. These objectives are commendable, especially considering the depth and breadth of material on the topics of fall risks, assessment, and interventions. The book fails to meet the needs of physical therapists, but may prove valuable to physical activity instructors such as aerobic instructors who practice in geriatrics.
Audience:According to the author, the audience is "experienced health care professionals and physical activity instructors." From my point of view, the market is primarily fitness instructors who practice in the areas of geriatrics and entry-level physical therapist assistant students. In addition, it may be of benefit for the orthopedic or outpatient physical therapist who is interested in developing geriatric wellness programs. The author attained her PhD in 1985 in the area of motor control and motor learning.
Features:The book is divided into three sections with the first section addressing theory and falls in the elderly. The second presents screening and assessment tools and training strategies addressing topics such as center-of-gravity, multisensory, strength, and flexibility training, while thethird part focuses on implementing the Fall Proof program. Illustrations and photographs, the progression of training exercises, and the easy-to-read writing style are strengths of book. Other unique features include the definitions, chapter tests, and practical problems. However, some material is outdated or incomplete. For example, supersensory strategies are not addressed. Comprehensive physical assessments of clients are essential, yet not covered here. Specifically, strength, range of motion, posture, and endurance assessments are critical when identifying risk factors for falls. In addition, the section on osteoporosis addresses the high risk for the Caucasian female but fails to address the Asian female, individuals who take steroids, have a calcium poor diet, are physically inactive, smoke, or consume excessive alcohol or caffeine. These omissions may lead the reader to ignore these risk factors.
Assessment:This book may be of value for fitness instructors or individuals developing a fall prevention program, but it is too basic for the entry-level physical therapist student. For that segment of the market, there are several neurorehabilitation and geriatric physical therapy books that address balance, postural control, and fall prevention.