Occupational Therapy and Prevention of Falls

April is National Occupational Therapy Month!

The profession of occupational therapy focuses on a person’s ability to participate in desired daily life activities or “occupations.” Aging can affect this ability, whether we continue to live in familiar surroundings or transition to new ones.

Slips, trips, and falls in and around the home are frequently the cause of injuries to older adults. In 2009, 2.2 million older adults visited the emergency room for injuries related to falls, with many of these injuries resulting in decreased independence, a need for long-term-care support, and increased risk for early death.

Occupational therapy practitioners are uniquely suited to address fall prevention with older adults. OTs work with the client and caregivers to scan the home environment for hazards and evaluate the individual for limitations that contribute to falls. Recommendations often include a combination of interventions that target improving physical abilities to safely perform daily tasks, modifying the home, and changing activity patterns and behaviors

The ECU Fall Risk Assessment Clinic is manned by a health care team that evaluates patients 60 and older for their risk of falls – all during one appointment – and give personalized recommendations to avoid falls.  For more information:  252-744-2045