Undergraduate Research

Research Rookies Student Profiles

lauren nale

Name: Lauren Nale

Cohort: Continuing Research Rookie

Major: Rehabilitation Services

Hometown: New Lenox, Illinois

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mary Jo Blaschak

Read Lauren's Blog

Project Title: Qualities of Balance in Senior Citizens

Project Overview: As we age, it is more likely that we will develop different issues with our ability to properly balance our bodies.  Senior citizens will balancing dysfunctions are prone to falls, which can result in very serious injuries or even fatalities.  These falls are often preventable with the help of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other medical professionals.  This study will be focusing on finding out what qualities of balancing may be causing individuals to fall.  With this information, medical professionals will be able to take our overall suggestions and findings and provide more efficient and effective treatment for elderly patients who exhibit poor balancing skills.  Furthermore, a series of screening tests on senior citizens in the DeKalb/Sycamore area will be completed to determine what balancing characteristics may be predictive in causing elderly persons to fall.  These screenings will vary from patient to patient, however, some of the screenings that will be preformed include: the modified clinical test for sensory interaction in balance, the timed up and go test, and the forward reach test.  These screenings will also all be done under a series of variables.  The data from the screening tests will then be analyzed to determine any consistent or non consistent patterns, and to see what characteristics are seen in our elderly patient's balancing skills.  Suggestions and the determination of preventative methods for falling in elderly patients will be from an occupational therapy perspective.