Tia Chi is a famous Chinese exercise that is characterized by a number of health benefits for people of different age. The purpose of this beginners’ tutorial is to develop a list of helpful and informative tips about Tia Chi, its learning techniques, and its possible health effects on the elderly.
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The hints will be given in a clear way and supported with the examples from several peer-reviewed articles to provide the reader with information on how to teach Tia Chi to the elderly so that they can enjoy the health benefits and several visual elements to explain the peculiarities of the chosen practice and offer the reader a choice on how to perceive information.
Needs Analysis and Content Analysis
The beginners’ tutorial How to Teach Tai Chi to the Elderly is a combination of the most effective ideas that can be used on a regularly basis. The idea to use Tai Chi as a form of health improvement and the prevention of certain problems with health is not new, still, people are in need of constant changes in accordance with the current achievements and their own demands.
Tai Chi aims at “improving flexibility and balance, through its unique capacity to enhance lower-extremity strength and improve postural stability” (Li, Harmer, Fisher, McAuley, Chaumeton, Echstrom, & Wilson, 2005, p. 187).
Due to the possibility to “improve balance and co-ordination and reduce the risk of falls” (Audette, Jin, Newcomer, Stein, Duncan, & Frontera, 2006, p.388), the elderly are eager to use this exercise. Still, they are usually in need of clear instructions and appropriate teaching techniques. This tutorial is designed for both, teachers and learners, to introduce a powerful guide on how to teach Tai Chi to the elderly considering health problems of a particular group of people and their expectations.
This kind of analysis helps to realize a true worth of training for the chosen group of people. Is it really necessary for the elderly to use Tai Chi? Should the elderly expect some benefits from the exercise under consideration? How is it necessary to build a training program to achieve the most effective results?
Li et al. (2005) underline that falls among the elderly are considered to be a serious health problem that can lead to a number of negative outcomes such as the increase of chronic disease mortality rates, the necessity of long-term care, the development of musculoskeletal problems, and the possibility to lose the required independence.
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Tai Chi is the practice that can reduce the risk of falls or even fear of falling (Devault, Li, & Oteghen, 2007); still, it should be taught properly. The tutorial proves that age should never be an obstacle for Tai Chi and shows the benefits of the Tai Chi choice. The elderly require special approaches in education, and the “How-to-Teach-Tai-Chi” guide focuses on particular elderly people’s needs.
The learning goals of the tutorial are as follows:
- Identify the importance of Tai Chi for the elderly;
- Demonstrate how to begin Tai Chi practice;
- Give several teaching techniques;
- Explain the health benefits to be expected.
The user of the tutorial is usually an older person or a relative of this person, who knows a little about Tai Chi, but is informed about this practice’s possible health benefits. About 40% of the elderly (people under 65) fall annually (Li et al., 2005), and the necessity to reduce this stats has already become a kind of public mission.
The idea to promote Tai Chi as a preventive method has been proved by means of the investigations made on the field (Li et al, 2005; Devault, 2007; Audette, 2006). The beginners’ tutorial combines theoretical and practical issues concerning the worth of Tai Chi for the elderly.
Instruction Learning Strategy
Constructivism is the theory that helps to introduce Tai Chi to the elderly and combine people’s prior knowledge about their health problems and possible interventions with the exercise and its benefits. The learners see how to train their bodies and minds and improve their mental and physical conditions.
- Get some theoretical information about Tai Chi and its connection to the elderly health;
- Prove that Tai Chi is worth attention;
- Explain the main steps to begin with;
- Give several clear instructions (supported by video or audio files);
- Stay realistic and remind that the learner is an older person.
The tutorial “How to Teach Tai Chi for the Elderly” is a collection of the ideas on how to use the practice and get a chance to improve health, clear mind, and overcome personal fears. It is not enough to know that Tai Chi is helpful or falls are a usual problem for many elderly people.
The guide should unite theoretical background, statistics, and practice because people under 65 do not trust just words; they need clear proofs and examples. In addition to a list of informative tips and explanations, the learner should have an access to a number of visual and audio sources.
For example, the tutorial may be supported by detailed photos for the elderly, who have some hearing problems or video for the elderly, who want to have some problems with memory and need a clear guide to be followed al the time.
The chosen methodology and basic principles of the tutorial are characterized by a number of positive issues. The evaluation of the project should demonstrate whether the tutorial is effective indeed to achieve the goals the elderly set. The studies by Audette et al. (2006) proves that the elderly women benefit considerably from Tai Chi and gain control over their balance and flexibility; and Devault et al. (2007) research shows that Tai Chi has a positive effect on balance control, still, muscle strength and ankle flexibility is not that successful after Tai Chi.
Assessment of the tutorial should be based on personal points of view of the elderly, who make use the tutorial under consideration. It is possible to use online questionnaires or like/dislike forums to get to know more information on a topic.
Tai Chi is a practice that can help the elderly improve their physical and mental conditions. People under 65 are eager to try something new in order to change something in their lives and believe that their lives can be even better. The purpose of the paper to introduce and evaluate a beginners’ tutorial on how to teach Tai Chi for the elderly is achieved, and the reader should know how to implement the techniques of Tai Chi into an elderly person’s life.
Audette, J.F., Jin, Y.S., Newcomer, R., Stein, L., Duncan, G., & Frontera, W.R. (2006). Tai Chi versus brisk walking in elderly women. Age and Ageing, 35(4), 388-393.
Devault, C.N., Li, Y., & Oteghen, S.V. (2007). Effects of extended Tai Chi intervention on balance and selected motor functions of the elderly. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 35(3), 383-391.
Li, F., Harmer, P., Fisher, K.J., McAuley, E., Chaumeton, N., Echstrom, E., & Wilson, N.L. (2005). Tai Chi and fall reductions in older adults: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 60(2), 187-194.
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