Ambulation, Balance and Falls in Older Adults

About the Course:
Rehabilitation professionals evaluate and treat older adults in a variety of settings. One of the common factors across all settings is that with aging changes are seen in gait and balance. These changes place older adults at an increased risk for falls. It is critical that rehabilitation professionals have an understanding of these changes that occur so that they can properly evaluate and treat these patients, ultimately minimizing fall risk. This course will discuss fall risk factors and assessment of these factors including the most appropriate standardized assessments to be utilized. It will also explore interventions with emphasis not only on therapeutic exercise but on assistive devices, medications, and environmental modifications as well.

Course Objectives:
1. Identify 3 common gait changes in older adults
2. Identify 3 situations or obstacles that are encountered with functional or community ambulation but not ambulation in healthcare settings.
3. Identify 2 of the most common standardized assessments used to assess gait in older adults.
4. Identify 3 specific interventions that are recommended when treating gait impairments in older adults.
5. Identify 3 common fall risk factors in older adults (intrinsic or extrinsic)
6. Recognize 2 different strategies that are used when a loss of balance or a disturbance of the base of support has occurred.
7. List one system of the body that require thorough assessment in older adults with balance impairments and one commonly used standardized assessment for these individuals.
8. Identify one tool that can be used to assess fear of falling in older adults
9. List one common fall risk factor in older adults and list two ways in which you could address this risk factor.
10. List 2 environmental modifications that will help reduce fall risk in older adults

About the Author:
Suzanne Greenwalt, a licensed physical therapist, received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from A.T. Still University and a Master in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings including rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, acute care and out-patient rehabilitation. Suzanne is a board-certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist and a board-certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist. She is an educator in two Doctor of Physical Therapy programs and is an educator and mentor in a geriatric residency program.

This course is a video, on demand course.