Graduation Date

5-2013

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

Ruth Ramsey, Ed.D., OTR/L

Abstract

This thesis project was created to help promote fall risk awareness in older adults who are living in the community with a serious mental illness. This project consisted of a 3-part multifactorial intervention plan that focused on increasing fall risk awareness and promoting participation in healthy lifestyles. Environmental modifications were made to the facility to create a safe environment and minimize the risk of falls. An exercise video was created and piloted with the residents of a facility for people with serious mental illness. The video included strength and balance exercises which minimize the risks of falling. An inservice was provided to educate and inform the staff on effective ways to promote healthy aging and fall risk awareness. The residents and staff were given surveys to evaluate the exercise video and inservice. Approximately 90 percent of the responses generated from the surveys were positive. Despite positive reviews, project developers were unable to determine if the exercise video, fall prevention materials provided, and completion of environmental modifications will be adhered to. The population of older adults is on the rise; therefore, healthy aging and wellness are areas of concern for society and occupational therapists.

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