Falls in the elderly are common and a major, costly health problem. Taiji addresses many issues related to fall risk. We determined whether intensive weekend training can sufficiently train persons who have baseline familiarity with Taiji to model and teach fundamentals of Taiji to the elderly. Prior to training, registrants received a manual, video and online links for review and practice. Assessments were completed pre-/post-training. Training occurred in four cities of one state. 34 adults completed training, two did not complete evaluations (ns = 12, 13, 4, and 5 at the four sites). Each training course consisted of two 9-hour days that educated prospective instructors on issues pertinent to the elderly, evaluation techniques, warm-up and cool-down movements and seated and standing Taiji postures. Assessments included pre-/post-knowledge test, Timed Up, and Go and Functional Reach Assessment. Nearly all participants with pre-/post-assessments (30/32, 94%) demonstrated adequate skills post-training. Knowledge of Taiji increased significantly from pre- to post-training (P < .01). Brief, intensive weekend training can increase the available workforce to train the elderly in fundamentals of Taiji for fall prevention.
Keywords: Taiji (Tai Chi); elderly; fall risk; geriatric; prevention.
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