Researchers from Bournemouth University has found that Tai Chi
brings positive health benefits to older people with dementia
The new TACIT Trial looked at the benefits that Tai Chi
can bring for people with dementia
, specifically looking at whether Tai Chi
could prevent falls and improve quality of live.
"We were really interested to see if Tai Chi
improves balance and prevents falls among people with dementia
. This is an important issue because people with dementia
are twice as likely to fall, and twice as likely to have injuries as a result of falls." commented Dr. Samuel Nyman, a Principal Academic at Bournemouth University and study leader, during a phone interview with Thailand Medical
The recent research took a control group, who carried out normal activities, and measured them alongside a group of a similar make up who all undertook a six month Tai Chi
The findings of the research, published in Clinical Interventions in Aging found that those who had followed a programme of Tai Chi
maintained a good quality of life, whereas those in the control group had a decline in life quality over the same period.
Dr Samuel Nyman added, "We found that those who did Tai Chi
really enjoyed the classes and meeting up with others who have dementia
and their family carers. We found Tai Chi
to be an incredibly safe and gentle exercise, and family carers were happy to support their loved ones with the classes and home practice. Although we found no improvements in scores on balance tests, there was a strong trend for those in the Tai Chi
group to have fewer falls."
The research study was carried out across the South of England, with Tai Chi
sessions in Dorset, Southampton and Portsmouth.
The team has plans to continue the research with a larger study that will seek to prove through more data that Tai Chi
does prevent falls, specifically in people with dementia
. It will also seek to understand how exactly Tai Chi
does reduce falls.
Reference : Samuel R Nyman et al., Randomised Controlled Trial Of The Effect Of Tai Chi On Postural Balance Of People With Dementia, Clinical Interventions in Aging (2019). DOI: 10.2147/CIA.S228931