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How an OT can help with fall prevention!

Did you know that falls continue to be a leading cause of injuries and death among older adults? Did you know that therapy can help?

Research has shown that fall causes are multi-factorial. This means they are influenced by conditions within the individual person and within the environment. A fall is a result of the interaction between the two. Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled at evaluating and addressing influences from the person, their activity roles and routines, and the environment to improve independence.

Examples of Fall Risk Factors Addressed by Occupational Therapy

• Intrinsic Factors: Lower-extremity weakness, impaired balance, cognitive impairment, urinary incontinence, sensory

impairment, fear of falling, side effects of medications

• Extrinsic Factors: Throw rugs and loose carpets, lighting glare, pets, clutter, uneven sidewalks, thresholds, unstable or

nonexistent handrails

Occupational therapy practitioners evaluate individuals for limitations that contribute to falls. OT practitioners also work with individuals and their caregivers to review the home environment for hazards. Services often include training clients, families, and interdisciplinary team members on strategies to support these fall prevention strategies.

Preventing falls and alleviating the fear of falling are cost-effective interventions that promote the safety and well-being of older adults. As our population continues to age, it has become even more important to help prevent falls to allow individuals to safely maintain their valued roles. Here at McCook Therapy, our goal is to reduce the risk of injury, improve safety, and maximize functioning and fulfill the roles that reflect desired values and identities.

If you are concerned or have questions about your safety or the safety of a loved one due to increased fall risk, please feel free to call our clinic!

McCook Therapy and Wellness 605-425-3303


Burns, E. R., Stevens, J. A., & Lee, R. (2016). The direct costs of fatal and non-fatal falls among older adults—United States. Journal of Safety Research, 58, 99–103.

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