Preventing Falls Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults

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Falls are one of the leading causes of injury-related morbidity and mortality among older adults. Participate in this module to learn strategies for assessing fall risk in older adults and utilizing single, multiple and multifactorial fall prevention interventions.

Author Information

Elizabeth Peterson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Director of Professional Education
Clinical Professor
Department of Occupational Therapy
College of Applied Health Sciences
Co-Investigator, ENGAGE-IL
University of Illinois at Chicago

Author Bio:

Dr. Elizabeth Peterson is a Clinical Professor and Director of Professional Education in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She teaches a variety of courses in the occupational therapy master’s program, covering topics from adult physical disabilities to ethics in OT practice. The goal of her scholarship is to develop interventions to prevent falls and manage fear of falling among well and at-risk individuals with special attention to people living with multiple sclerosis. Dr. Peterson is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), representing AOTA as a member of the Expert Panel to update the Fall Prevention Guidelines of the American Geriatrics Society and the British Geriatrics Society, and is a member of the AOTA Primary Care Workgroup. She is an original member of the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) Falls Free Coalition, a founding member of the International MS Falls Prevention Research Network and she is currently leading the Illinois Fall Prevention Council.


Valerie Gruss PhD, APN, CNP-BC
Clinical Assistant Professor
College of Nursing
Director, ENGAGE-IL
University of Illinois at Chicago

Memoona Hasnain MD, MHPE, PhD
Professor and Associate Department Head, Faculty Development & Research
College of Medicine,
Department of Family Medicine
Co-Director, ENGAGE-IL
University of Illinois at Chicago

Module Information

Duration: 30 minutes
Format: Video Stream & pdfs

Module Guide and Handout
Resources & References
Continuing Education Credit Information

In support of patient care, Rush University Medical Center is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Rush University Medical Center designates this live activity for a maximum of (0.50) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is being presented without bias and without commercial support.

ANCC Credit Designation – Nurses
The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 0.50 contact hours.

Rush University is an approved provider for physical therapy (216.000272), occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, social work (159.001203), nutrition, speech-audiology, and psychology by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Rush University designates this live activity for (0.50) Continuing Education credit(s).

Rush University Medical Center designates this knowledge based CPE activity (JA0000275-0000-18-087-H04-P, JA0000275-0000-18-087-H04-T) for 0.50 contact hours for pharmacists.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this module, learners will be able to:

Explain the significance of falls in terms of prevalence, cost, and associated morbidity, mortality, and impact on quality of life
Describe strategies to assess for fall risk that reflect careful consideration of diverse and interacting fall risk factors
Differentiate among multiple, single, and multifactorial fall prevention interventions
Recognize that multiple, single, and multifactorial fall prevention interventions are often complementary
Describe the purpose and components of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Stopping Elderly Accidents, Death, and Injury (STEADI) Toolkit
Summarize key features of four evidence-based and community-based interventions: Otago; Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance; Stepping On; and Matter of Balance
Identify strategies and resources that health care providers can use to reduce fall risk among community-dwelling older adults

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This ENGAGE-IL learning activity fully complies with the legal requirements of the ADA and the rules and regulations thereof. Learners with special needs can make requests for accommodation at any time by sending e-mail to

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