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The Need to Know: Geriatrics and Vestibular

presented by Jamie M. Caulley, DPT

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Jamie M. Caulley is a consultant on an NIH grant for STEADI implementation into rehab clinics and is a speaker for geriatrics courses with Evidence In Motion. She also receives compensation from MedBridge for this course.

Nonfinancial: Jamie M. Caulley implemented STEADI into outpatient rehab practice at Providence Health in Oregon. She has no other competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

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

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 64 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 29 Minutes

Care of older adults is a larger proportion of PT practice in all settings due to the growing number of older adults in our country. Changes in balance, gait, and fall risk are part of normal aging; however, with additional comorbidities, the effect on mobility is often more significant. The vestibular system plays a key role in gait, balance, and fall risk and should be assessed in all older adults with mobility issues. This course will highlight the basics of vestibular assessment and treatment, as well as the most common diagnoses seen in clinical settings. It is intended for the general practitioner treating older adults.

Learning Objectives
  • Identify the essentials of vestibular anatomy and physiology as they relate to postural control, as well as understand normal changes to the vestibular system in aging
  • Recognize the most common vestibular pathology in older adults
  • Recognize how vestibular dysfunction affects mobility and fall risk in older adults
  • Build vestibular assessment and treatment into evaluation of older adults with mobility and balance impairments

Meet Your Instructor

Jamie M. Caulley, DPT

Jamie Caulley is a physical therapist working in an outpatient clinical practice for Providence St. Joseph's Health in Portland, Oregon. Providence St. Joseph's is an integrated healthcare organization with 8 hospitals, 45+ primary care clinics, and 35+ rehab clinics in Oregon and southwest Washington. She led clinical practice development for 17 years for Providence at…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

1. The Basics of the Vestibular System and Age-Related Changes

In this chapter, we will review the need-to-know details of vestibular anatomy and physiology. Understanding the basic structure and function of the vestibular system is essential for any clinician seeing older adults in order to understand normal age-related changes affecting mobility, as well as assess and treat abnormal changes to the vestibular system.

2. Beyond Normal Aging: Vestibular Pathology in Older Adults

In this chapter, we will learn about the most common vestibular pathology in older adults and how it affects gait, balance, and fall risk. Prevalence, who is at risk, and clinical presentation of common vestibular disorders such as BPPV, vestibular hypofunction, and central vestibular dysfunction will be discussed.

3. Now That You Know It’s Important: How to Assess, Treat, and Refer for Vestibular Dysfunction

In this chapter, we will cover how to assess and treat simple presentations of the most common vestibular disorders seen in older adults. We will cover common tests of gait and balance and how to use them for vestibular assessment and treatment as well as learn some tests specific to vestibular function that aid in diagnosis and treatment.

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