Margaret Clarke (Central Manchester Falls Prevention service) introduced some of the residents at Crogrove Hall to a different and exciting way to improving strength and balance and also needs a good level of concentration which also helps to improve cognition. This was in the form of exercising using Gamification (Exergames) which are state of the art computer games, especially designed to improve strength and balance based on the Otago exercise programme, by company MIRA Rehab. Otago is an established tool used by clinicians to improve strength and balance in the older population at risk of falls.
Back in February 2018 Rita Irvine RGN and Margaret Clarke R/A attended Crosgrove Hall to talk to residents about falls prevention and the Exergames. They had a good turn out and managed to sign up enough residents to take part in a 12 weeks programme using the Exergames.
All ladies were given exercise programmes’ to suit their individual needs. The ladies were assessed before and after the 12 weeks using recognised balance and strength assessment tools. All finishing assessments were an improvement on starting ones.
"Initially falls physiotherapist, Caroline Birch completed physio assessments with each participant. I then completed the Berg and Timed Up and Go baseline assessments, requested medical histories and GP’s consent for every participant. Then we were ready to start our 12 week exercise programme" explains Margaret.
Patients were also given a few exercises from the Otago home programme to practice in between using the ExerGames. The ExcerGames were practiced once a week for 12 weeks.
M. Clarke also shared some of the recordings of the focus group, the resident’s case notes and observations:
Four ladies from Crosgrove Hall all in their 80s and various medical conditions took part in a new way of improving strength and balance. All the ladies were apprehensive at first but over the weeks they came to enjoy the sessions. Some ladies were not so keen on exercising but could appreciate the aim of the sessions, especially when they started to feel stronger. This gave a greater passion to improve performance skills and they became quite competitive.
“Walking better I feel more confident and my family have also noticed I am walking better”
“The manager at Crosgrove Hall has noticed my improvements and extra confidence. I have started to go out more which I had stopped doing”
“Very interesting I know which muscle groups have become weak and I was happy to try to improve that area”
“Don’t really like exercise but I did find it interesting”
“I can now get up from a chair easier and sometime find I don’t need to hold on to get up”
Most ladies said they could feel the improvements and would have liked to carry on using the Exergames. Some interest about how they could carry on but felt they would want a therapist to instruct them. One lady found the cognitive games tricky and preferred the Grab and catch games. Another lady really enjoyed cognitive games and especially like Firefly. One lady had visual impairment and one of the games wasn’t able to follow. As there are so many to choose from we were able to find a good variety of suitable games.
For more information about the ExerGames programme and Mira Rehab (founders of the ExerGames) please see: