Balance Confidence of Thai Elderly People in Pathumthani Social Welfare Development Center for Older Persons - ความมั่นใจในการทรงตัวของผู้สูงอายุไทยในศูนย์พัฒนาการจัดสวัสดิการสังคมผู้สูงอายุจังหวัดปทุมธานี
Physiological changes lead to a decrease of balance confidence in older persons. An objective of this research was to study the balance confidence in order to benefit the older persons to know their level of confidence and use as information in a development of social welfare for older people. This study was a survey research using purposive sampling technique. Participants were 35 older persons living in Pathumthani Social Welfare Development Center for Older Persons. Research instruments included demographic data record and “Active-specific and Balance Confidence (ABC) scale”. It was found that majority of the participants were females. Eleven of them had experience of falls during walking on a level surface, walking across obstacles, walk on slippery floor, and walking in dark areas. The results from ABC Scale showed different scores in each topic. Of all 16 different topics, participants had a strong level of balance confidence in 5 topics namely, walking around the house, bending over and picking up a slipper from the front of closet floor, reaching for a small can off a shelf at eye level, sweeping the floor and walking outside the house to a car parked in the driveway. This was probably because these topics involved walking on a stable flat floor and were routine activities. The weakest balance confidence was associated with 2 topics: stepping on/off an escalator while holding parcels and unable to hold the handrail, and walking on slippery walkways. This was probably because such activities required changing of body center of gravity and difficulty in keeping balance.
Key word: balance confidence, older person, social welfare development center