Balance assessment in older people using inertial sensors
People at the age of 65 and above are drastically at the risk of falling. Falls among elderly may occur because of many physical factors such as natural deterioration of motor function or other disease related problems such as stroke, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. The methods reported in the literature to assess the risk of falling in older people are often subjective, qualitative, retrospective and inaccurate. An objective, quantifiable approach to assess the risk of falling in elderly by analysing body movement using inertial sensors is conducted. Initial results of the experimental work and analysis carried out on three subjects, one older person with impaired balance and two younger people with normal balance are reported. The sensors are mounted on the subjects' chests and they are asked to conduct balance tests. The results of the data analysis indicate that the elderly subject has disturbed and involuntary chest movements. This demonstrates the potential of the method to assess balance and the risk of fall in older people.