The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Fall Prevention

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The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Fall Prevention

The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Fall Prevention

Falls can be a significant health hazard for aging adults and even younger individuals with a disability or with medical needs. Occupational therapy interventions have been proven to reduce the frequency of falls and improve overall safety by teaching strategies that build physical and cognitive capabilities, enabling individuals to live more independently at home. The benefits of occupational therapy for fall prevention are numerous and are vital in keeping your loved one safe at home.

Did You Know?

Well-designed exercise programmes can reduce the rate of falls by 23 percent and reduce the number of people experiencing one or more falls by 15 percent.

The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Fall Prevention

Comprehensive assessment

Occupational therapists conduct comprehensive assessments to identify an individual’s specific fall risk factors. They evaluate physical abilities, balance, coordination, sensory functions, cognitive skills, and the home environment to determine the areas that require intervention. Comprehensive assessment plays a crucial role in determining the specific needs and goals of individuals. Some key aspects of the comprehensive assessment process are:

  • Medical History: checking medical history to identify any underlying issues that could contribute to falls.
  • Functional Assessment: evaluate an individual’s functional abilities and limitations related to activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing.
  • Balance and Mobility Assessment: evaluation of an individual’s balance, coordination, and ability to perform functional movements safely.
  • Environmental Assessment: assessment of factors that may contribute to falls, such as poor lighting, uneven surfaces, clutter, or inadequate support systems.

Enhancing strength and balance

Occupational therapists use exercises and activities to improve an individual’s strength, balance, and coordination. They focus on improving muscle strength, flexibility, and postural control to enhance overall stability and reduce the risk of falls. The key aspects of this process are:

  • Balance Training Exercises: improve an individual’s ability to maintain equilibrium during static (stationary) and dynamic (moving) activities. These can involve weight shifting, standing on unstable surfaces, or performing activities that challenge balance.
  • Coordination Activities: various exercises and games that target hand-eye coordination, bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body simultaneously), and fine motor coordination.
  • Home Exercise Programs: exercises and activities that can be performed independently at home to maintain and further develop strength and balance.

Home modifications:

Occupational therapists assess the individual’s home environment and recommend modifications to reduce fall hazards. This may include rearranging furniture, removing obstacles, improving lighting, installing grab bars and handrails, and making the bathroom safer. These modifications create a safer living space and reduce the risk of falls. This process includes:

  • Removing Hazards: addresses potential hazards within the home that can contribute to falls. This may involve removing obstacles such as clutter, loose rugs, or electrical cords that can be tripping hazards.
  • Improving Lighting: assess the lighting conditions in the home and recommend improvements. This may include adding additional light fixtures, or installing motion sensor lights to ensure lighting in key areas, such as hallways, staircases, and bathrooms.
  • Modifying Stairs: this may involve adding handrails on both sides of the staircase and ensuring proper handrail height and grip.
  • Assessing Assistive Devices: evaluate the suitability and effectiveness of assistive devices such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs within the home environment. They ensure that these devices are properly adjusted, well-maintained, and suitable for the individual’s needs.

Isaac Care’s Assistive Services:

• We provide the right care by providing the tools and support people need to access high quality care from the comfort of their own homes.
• The Isaac fall alarm is connected to our free family caring app, Isaac Care.
• The Isaac Care app is specifically designed around “circles of care”, groups of people involved in the persons’ care. Each circle of care is kept up to date with instant in-app notifications.
• The app sends out an instant notification of any fall/SOS alert to the relevant circle of care, while the fall alarm itself initiates a phone call to the designated emergency contact.
• It allows the right care to be delivered in the right place, at the right time, providing invaluable peace of mind.

Occupational therapy can be an incredibly useful tool to target fall prevention. It is an effective and creative way to help those who are most at risk of injuries from falls. Investing in occupational therapy is a worthwhile measure that can lead to better health outcomes for those who have an increased risk of falling. Taking action using the many different approaches above can go a long way in keeping everyone safe, secure, and as independent as possible.

Get in Touch

Our dedicated team are on hand to assist you in any way. Contact us on (042) 936 8391 or fill in your details in the contact form and one of our team will be in touch.