Why is it important to consult an occupational therapist to perform a home safety/falls prevention assessment?
Occupational Therapists are University educated health care professionals qualified to perform home safety assessments. Occupational Therapists are the health care professionals consulted by other medical professionals, such as doctors, community care nurses and community service agencies, to perform home safety assessments in the community.
Why have a home safety assessment?
Home safety assessments are recommended when a person is having difficulty performing activities at home, requires a mobility aid or is having general overall difficulty managing their daily activities. Daily activities can be anything from getting dressed, to making meals, to using the bathroom; basically every activity a person does at home. Home safety assessments are done to help ensure a person is living as safely as possible within their home environment.
Living Safely at Home
To live safely and independently at home, it is important not only to look at the environment for potential safety hazards, but to also look at how each individual functions within their environment. It is relatively easy to remove potential safety hazards from the physical environment but what if the person’s health or ability is a contributing safety risk? Occupational Therapists look at the person, the specific activities that the person wants to accomplish, and the environment in which the activities will take place and determines how all of these things interact to support or impede the person’s ability to accomplish those activities. Once the barriers to accomplishing a task or activity are identified, the Occupational Therapist can then suggest different ways of doing a task, recommend assistive devices, if indicated, and provide education on how to perform the task safely and independently.
When you need information on home safety – call the professionals the other medical team members call in …. consult an Occupational Therapist.
For more information on Occupational Therapy and/or Occupational Therapist qualifications, please click on the following websites:
www.caot.ca – Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
www.coto.org – College of Occupational Therapy of Ontario
www.osot.on.ca – Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists