Document Type

Student Research Paper

Advisor(s)

Linda M. Leimbach

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

This paper documents the program development and evaluation of a fall prevention series conducted at a local continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Previous literature has illustrated the prevalence of falls in older adults, as well as the significant impacts of fall prevention programs in community-based settings for the well elderly. The methodology that guided this program was based on the Lifestyle Redesign: Well Elderly Study (Mandel et.al, 1999). Coordinators of the CCRC assisted in conducting a needs assessment as well as in selecting well-elderly participants in the independent living community who they felt would be well suited for the program. Once admitted to the program, participants were encouraged to attend a three-week lecture series regarding fall preventions delivered by this author. The sessions were tailored to the specific retirement community and utilized a variety of teaching approaches in order to address their needs. The topics in the sessions included fall prevalence and risk factors, exercise and physical activity, and home modifications as they relate to fall prevention. Information was collected relevant to fall prevention knowledge and current fall prevention practices in the first and last sessions in the form of a pre-test and a post-test. These two tests were independent of one another, however highlighted that individuals in the program gained knowledge relevant to fall prevention and implemented various changes into their daily habits and routines in order to prevent falls. However, as a result of inconsistent attendance and independently developed test measures, no widespread conclusions could be generalized to all of the participants in the program. It is recommended that participants at this CCRC would benefit from long-term fall prevention programming with a more comprehensive approach, as well as a team effort from other staff to ensure that individuals consistently attend sessions.

Comments

Senior Thesis.

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