Graduation Date

5-2016

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, Ed.D, OTR/L

First Reader

Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L

Second Reader

Susan LeBlanc, M.S., OTR/L

Abstract

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the most common cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults over the age of 65 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2009). Falls can lead to a myriad of traumatic physical and emotional consequences. Integrated exercise programs such as the Lifestyle-integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) program are effective in preventing falls and increasing fall efficacy in individuals who have previously fallen (Clemson et al., 2012). The purpose of our study was to examine if the LiFE program is as effective in reducing fall risk and increasing fall efficacy for non-fallers as it is for fallers. Due to a small sample size of three older adults residing in two independent living residential facilities, the results from our study are inconclusive. The results show that participants were able to increase or maintain their physical fitness and fall efficacy, as well as make improvements in their balance. Moreover, the participants’ testimonials and progress forms collected six-months after the beginning of the program indicate that the LiFE program may have been effective in allowing integration of balance and strengthening exercises into habits occurring in daily activities.

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