Strength and Balance Apps, how to get help with falls

Neuro Café 6th October 2021 by Linda S



Continuing last week’s theme about how to get up if you fall, Conor discussed common apps and websites which help aid strength and balance rehabilitation.

  • Falls are not inevitable.

  • Falls are a really important element of our rehab and there is a lot of extra information out there.

  • There is a vast amount of videos and resources on places like YouTube. But do be careful, YouTube it is unregulated and unfiltered, there are plenty of self-appointed "gurus" who are not experts or qualified clinicians!

More details for suggestions and links to exercises for strength and balance can be found in resources in the Members’ Area of the LEGS website.


Keep on Keep Up App (KOKU)


This is an NHS approved app.


  • Helps older adults take control of their health

  • Can help reduce the risk of falls

  • It is free

  • Only available via Apple at present, i.e. will only work if you have an iPhone/iPad/Mac computer

  • Once downloaded you are informed how to use the app

  • You select your ability and confidence level

  • Exercises are fun and interactive

  • You can track your progress



Otago Exercise Programme


This is available on all devices.

  • It helps you to manage goals

  • Tracks your progress

  • Pictures demonstrate what to do

  • Breakdown of each exercise in a simplistic way

  • £6.75 one-off payment

  • You can choose level of difficulty

  • It's evidence based


Nymbl

  • Not out in UK yet.

  • For Apple and Android.

  • Personalised and only available through healthcare insurers/US.

  • Accessible, easy to start, efficient, adaptable and comprises cognitive challenges and simple body movements.

  • 10-minute exercises

  • Effortless ways to engage in balance activities which adapt to meet the users wherever they are.

  • You are encouraged to process what is going on in the environment and still maintain your balance.

  • You can personalise the experience with an initial risk assessment


Stand Tall

  • Not out in UK yet, only Australia but launching in UK soon!



Make Movement Your Mission (MMYM)

  • 10-15 minute sessions online via Facebook

  • Sessions at 8am, 12pm, 4pm.

  • Small assessments in it which are good.

  • You can see small improvements in your strength and stability which encourages you to keep going.

  • Their mantra is:

Sit Less - Move More


LEGS members' experiences of falls and how to get help


  • Investigate services in your local areas - there are many charities and companies that set up initiatives locally in day care centres, sports centres and gyms.

  • Ankles and core muscles are important. Exercise regularly!

  • Look into the resources available from the charity, ARNI

  • A strong chair was found to be useful to lever yourself up. LEGS participants have fallen down since coming out of hospital. It can be a major issue to get up off the floor. Suggested to find a chair or get to your stairs and lever yourself up.



  • Ask your hospital or carers for a programme of what to do if you fall.


There are gaps that have not been breached between hospital care and community care. There seems to be a general lack of effort from the health authorities to flag up or post the resources that are available; the information is there but is not being fed out to people.


LEGS participants felt they had been left to their own devices – and felt disappointed to not to have been told about what facilities are available.


There are organisations that do fill the gap between hospital and home but they are not advertised enough; often hospitals do not tell us about all the organisations. We would like to have a complete information package saying what is available. Some people felt when they finished time in one service, too much information was given out and they could not take it all in.

Neuro Café is useful because it offers advice and information from one person to another - advice from people who actually have experience of various situations.

You can gain some really useful pieces of information at the neuro café; this lived experience and advice is useful for the professionals too. You do have to take charge and take responsibility for your recovery and rehab to a certain extent. One LEGS participant remarked they wish they had had a session on basics when they left hospital eg how to use a wheelchair.

Another participant had family who were invited into physio sessions and this proved very useful in maintaining encouragement and motivation. It was felt family and loved ones should be invited into sessions more often. Then they can replicate what the physios do, so the result might be you get 3 or 4 sessions a day rather than one. Once instruction has been given, you do not need to be trained further to carry out the exercises.

We find there are lots of things we could change in the NHS!

A hospital in Bombay gave out lists of exercises which should be done a few times a week.

Exercise: Some is good, more is better!

Any extra movement and exercise that you do is going to be beneficial.

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