The Occupational Therapy Service for Falls operates as part of the Falls Clinics. The Falls Clinics aim to provide evidenced based multidisciplinary assessment and intervention to older people, living in their own homes, who have fallen or are at risk of falling and where their GP requests further guidance in managing their condition.
Following a referral to the falls clinics, you are invited to attend the hospital for assessment by the doctor, nurse and physiotherapist.
During your attendance you will be asked if you consent to assessment by the Occupational Therapist, which may involve an assessment of how you manage in and around your home.
The evidence tells us that an effective intervention for reduction in falls is to modify the home environment to reduce risks – such as the environmental hazards shown in the picture below. The Occupational Therapists understanding of how you interact with your environment and their knowledge of adaptive equipment enables them to support you to make any acceptable changes to reduce and manage the risk of further falls.
The Occupational Therapist contacts you, or your nominated person, usually by telephone, to establish if Occupational Therapy intervention is required.
If a visit to your home is agreed, this will be carried out at a convenient time for you. The service aims to complete this visit within 5 working days if possible.
The visit will usually take up to 1 hour and may generate advice, provision of or recommendations for equipment or referral to other services and information giving.
If a visit is not required or you do not feel it is necessary, the Occupational Therapist may offer general advice, information on managing risks or referral to other services as appropriate and acceptable to the patient.
A discharge letter is sent to your GP on completion of intervention.
Occupational Therapists maintain their knowledge and skills in falls management by attending training, taking part in Falls Clinic Meetings and membership of the NNUH Falls Steering Group, as well as personal continuing professional development activities.
They actively promote good practice by developing tools and information for use on the wards, taking part in Age UKs annual Falls Awareness campaign and making links with local groups, such as the Osteoporosis Society.