WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM MEASURING DAILY LIFE ACTIVITY OF OLDER PERSONS
Institute of Movement and Sport Gerontology, Cologne Sport University, Germany
Regular physical activity and tailored exercise programs are essential for preventing functional decline and frailty in older people and people with chronic diseases. To effectively offer individualised interventions requires appropriate assessment and monitoring procedures. Current clinical care routines for assessing mobility and fall risk in older people mostly make use of field tests which yield simple performance measures such as the time it takes to complete mobility related activities such as rising from a chair or short distance walks. These outcomes fall short of accurately assessing qualitative aspects of movement performance, and their suitability for risk assessment or detecting changes in functioning is limited. Motion sensor based methods, which allow for performance assessment and monitoring daily life mobility patterns over long time periods (varying from days to weeks), may be used to enhance the effectiveness of life-style interventions in older people. Based on results in different populations of community dwelling older adults, this contribution will report on sensor based assessments of mobility which can be used to objectify individual mobility profiles, and give input into exercise-based interventions which aim to enhance physical functioning. The results show that measuring daily life activity of older persons adds essential information which is different from the results of existing field tests.