The Academy Senior Living Community in Boulder, Colorado, prides itself on its community and the active life style of its residents. So when Nymbl approached them to pilot an innovative program to essentially turn the Academy into a living lab for balance improvement, they said “lets do it!”.
The goals of the programs were to expose as many residents as possible to the Nymbl Balance Improvement program, get more residents comfortable with technology, build community, and have fun!
The program started with a “fireside chat” (literally, it was in January in Boulder) with approximately 35 of the 65 residents of the Academy. We discussed the science behind balance improvement and falls prevention and demonstrated our software. Thirty of the residents agreed to participate in the month long program to improve balance.
The following week, all participants underwent a balance evaluation using the Nymbl App. Residents were tested for stability, strength and movement, and given both their score and percentile. With this as a baseline, the training began.
Residents could train 3 different ways. First, they could use our app on their smartphones. Second, they could borrow an iPad mini with our software installed and do the exercises in the Fitness Center. Third, they could attend one of 3 daily 15-minute classes where Michelle, the Fitness Director, provided the same exercises (physical and cognitive) as the app would prescribe. The cognitive exercises were math games and trivia questions, which were a great hit! It was quite a sight to see 10 seniors (average age 85 years old!) doing lunges and tandem stands while shouting out answers to trivia questions!
After a month of training, everyone was tested again for their balance using the Nymbl App. We expected some improvement, but the results were way above our wildest dreams – the average score improved 37%! And, importantly, everyone improved. Here’s a graph of each participant’s scores before and after.
We are deeply grateful to the wonderful people at the Academy who participated with such enthusiasm, and especially to Michelle, the Wellness Director, for embracing the program and making it work so flawlessly!