New VSTBalance Technology
Twin Lakes and Twin Towers Senior Living Communities’ residents are utilizing state-of-the-art technology to prevent injuries from falls and improve their quality of life. VSTBalance tracks and measures balance and gait by utilizing a 3D motion analysis system as part of a comprehensive Balance Initiative.
The overall goal is to reduce or eliminate resident fall risk as part of their health and wellness philosophy. Twin Lakes Administrator Lisa Zimmers says, "Twin Lakes and Twin Towers are the only senior living communities in the Cincinnati area currently offering this technology. It completes our Balance Initiative, which also includes education and core strengthening. It’s a tremendous tool to create a strategy to improve balance.
The VSTBalance program evaluations and follow-ups show individuals how they’ve improved from where they started. An estimated one in four people age 65 and older fall, and if you fall once, you’re twice as likely to fall again. We’ve always monitored falls, but now we’re digging deeper into the data and evaluating the information more methodically to make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent them."
VSTBalance is designed by VirtuSense Technologies and employs a single infrared camera to administer evidence-based standardized gait and balance tests to establish baseline metrics, track progress, and measure balance. Seniors walk or perform other tasks in front of the camera, which allows the system to analyze their abilities compared to a database of their peers.
This process not only identifies limitations and areas of concern ,but also provides a detailed report to create an improvement plan. Involving all team members (dining services, events and programs, environmental services, etc.) in the initiative is important because proper balance affects everyday activities such as getting in and out of the car, picking up things from the floor, and moving around the home.
Since the interactive VSTBalance motion analysis equipment arrived in March, it has also been a valuable tool for short-term rehabilitation programs. The Connection, LEC’s wellness center, offers balance classes and utilizes the test results to advise participants. The initiative actually educates residents on what it takes to improve balance and prevent falls. Some residents have seen a 35% increase in their balance since the program was implemented in March.
Amy Brunner, Wellness Services Manager at Twin Towers, says, "I am very excited to have the VirtuSense program here at Twin Towers! By using the variety of assessments available, we are able to identify a resident’s fall risk and areas for improvement along with their strengths. Having this information encourages and empowers residents to be in control of their level of independence. The VirtuSense, with assistance from staff, provides a fun and interactive way for residents to improve their balance to maintain autonomy and current level of living and independence."