A new method being tested in Chicago aims to “vaccinate” individuals who are elderly against falls—by tripping them.
Actually it’s not as weird as it sounds. The Associated Press reports that University of Illinois-Chicago researcher and physical therapy professor Clive Pai, PT, PhD is using a specially-built moving walkway that can suddenly shift under a user’s feet, tripping them up and—Pai hopes—triggering subconscious learning that will help prevent future falls. Users are outfitted with a special harness that prevents them from actually falling during the training.
The AP story quotes Pai as saying that the approach could work as a kind of “vaccine against falls.”