Dr Samuel Nyman and Yolanda Barrado-Martín from the Psychology Department and Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) attended the 4th EU Falls Festival in Manchester on 2nd and 3rd July 2018.
International researchers met in Manchester to learn about current projects under the theme, “New Solutions to Old Problems: Ensuring sustainability of falls prevention interventions”. Yolanda Barrado-Martín presented a poster entitled: “How is Tai Chi received by people living with dementia and their informal carers?” Attendants showed interest in the poster over the two day conference and voted Yolanda´s as the second best poster of the conference!
This year’s conference included sessions around Cochrane Updates on falls preventions, the use of new technologies to prevent falls, epidemiology and the implementation of research into practice. This year there was also a space for specific conditions such as dementia and the use of “qigong” to improve balance and prevent falls amongst older adults, which made this conference particularly relevant for the TACIT Team.
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Natalia Adamczewska and Yolanda Barrado-Martín represented the Psychology Department and Ageing & Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) at the Third Edition of the EU Falls Festival in Amsterdam on 8th and 9th May 2017. The theme of the congress was: Developing Collaborations across Professions and throughout Europe.
This festival brought together over 200 professionals from multiple disciplines (such as Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Medicine, Psychology and Technology) working under a common target: The prevention of falls amongst older adults. It was a great opportunity to see how different countries in Europe, but also researchers in America, represented by Dr. Robin Lee, US Lead Home and Recreation Team; and Australia, represented by Kim Delbaere, Falls Balance and Injury Centre, NeuRa; are working under this objective, the resources different countries invest on this and the different approaches used from different disciplines. A variety of interventions were presented from educational to exercise, and a debate was organised regarding the relevance of the role of technologies to prevent falls and support research.
Falls are the first external cause of death amongst older adults which explains the importance of researchers, practitioners and policy makers working together. Members of the World Health Organisation and the European Commission were also attending this meeting and sharing their views on the relevance of falls prevention.
Yolanda’s PhD project looks into the acceptability and adherence of participants living with dementia to a Tai Chi exercise intervention. Adherence to falls interventions was one the main concerns of the congress, however, the experiences of those living with dementia remain mostly under-explored.
Natalia focuses on the psychological adjustment to falls in her PhD project and she looks at fall-related PTSD. Various interventions presented at the festival could possibly be applied in order to enable participants to cope with psychological consequences of falling, such as virtual reality treatment presented by Jeff Hausdorff that he originally developed for fall prevention in idiopathic fallers.
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