Journal Article Effects of Posture and Balance Exercises Aimed at Oral Function Improvement in The Frail Elderly

Fujiwara, Kenichi  ,  Sato, Akihiro  ,  Tsushima, Hitoshi

66 ( 1 )  , pp.55 - 64 , 2015-04-06 , 弘前大学大学院医学研究科・弘前医学会
Objectives: To elucidate the relationship between posture and oral function in the elderly and to verify the effects of interventions aimed at improving posture on oral functions, particularly in the frail elderly. Methods: We evaluated postural conditions and oral and respiratory functions in 11 healthy elderly people living locally and 9 frail elderly persons using day-care services. The frail elderly were assigned to 2 groups. Interventions were performed for a total of 16 weeks in a crossover design; they comprised regular swallowing exercises and fallprevention exercises aimed at improving posture and balance. Results: Postural conditions in the elderly were correlated with oral function and respiratory function. Intervention with either the aspiration-prevention exercises or the fall-prevention exercises significantly improved kyphotic posture in the frail elderly. Intervention with the fall-prevention exercises alone improved swallowing function and oral-related quality of life( QOL). Conclusions: To effectively improve oral function in the frail elderly, exercises helping to improve posture and balance should be added to swallowing exercises.

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