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The Impact of Aging on Functional Mobility and Gait: Introduction

presented by Julie Ries, PT, PhD

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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This course is part of our GCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge GCS Prep-Program.

The motor task of walking is ultimately a product of the characteristics of the individual, the environment in which one is immersed, and the task(s) performed while walking. As physical therapists we must be mindful of all components and strategically integrate appropriate challenges when targeting gait interventions. This course is designed to present the predictable set of age related changes of temporal & spatial gait characteristics and review the environmental & task demands of community ambulation. The value of collecting gait speed data, and its relationship to health, function, and mortality are emphasized.

Meet Your Instructor

Julie Ries, PT, PhD

Julie Ries is a physical therapist and professor of physical therapy at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. She has a special interest in physical therapy with older adults, particularly those with cognitive deficits such as Alzheimer's disease, and her recent research has been in the area of outcome measures and balance interventions in this population.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Gait Characteristics of Older Adults

Join us as we take a look at the impact of aging on body systems and how these changes might potentially affect gait. We'll then dig deeper on why differentiating normal versus pathological gait change is an important role of Physical Therapy.

2. Functional Ambulation Requirements

Having a clear understanding of the speed and distance requirements and potential environmental demands are key for PTs to prepare their older adult patients for successful community mobility. Skilled assessment of the potential physiological & psychological constraints on patient mobility will help to direct PTs toward the most efficacious treatments.

3. Walking Speed

In this chapter we’ll wrap up Dr. Ries’ course on an introduction to Functional Mobility & Gait through by Walking Speed. We’ll consider the predictive power of gait speed and the pragmatics of gauging gait speed in the clinic will be reviewed. Considerations for assistive device use and gait speed reference values will be presented.

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