Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapy and Fall Prevention


Falls are the most common preventable injury in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, 63% of seniors, 50% of adolescents and 35% of working-age adults have been injured by falls. Sports related activities are the main cause of injury by falls for adolescents. Older adults’ falls often result from tripping, stumbling or walking or doing household chores.

Occupational therapists approach fall prevention by addressing personal, environmental and behavioral factors which influence people’s participation in activities at home and in the community. Occupational therapists work with other professionals to assess and help clients develop the skills needed to engage in healthy and meaningful lives, including preventative education.

Talk to an occupational therapist to help

  • Develop simple and elegant solutions to prevent falls, such as using sand on slippery surfaces, ensuring stability of railings and teaching client how to walk with a cane.
  • Work with employees who have experienced injury and their employers to develop a daily schedule of graded, meaningful activities that may reduce the risk of (re)injury, increase physical fitness.
  • Provide recommendations and build strategies for communities, stakeholders and decision makers on the effectiveness of innovative home or community support options.
  • Help clients rebuild confidence in their daily lives after a fall.





These online resources are free and we encourage you to share them with as many people as possible: clients, families, referrers, physicians, colleagues, insurers, politicians and administrators. They are yours to use as you see fit and to help you advocate for your own practice and for the profession of occupational therapy.

Don’t forget to share your advocacy initiatives with us at



Position Statement:

Professional Issues Forums

Lunch and Learn Archive:

Slaying Goliath: What Can We Do to Prevent Falls?

Presenter: Rosalie Freund-Heritage Session presented on: November 19, 2013

Community Development and Occupational Therapy – A natural, fruitful fit
Presenter: Dr. Rachel Thibeault  Session presented on: October 9th, 2012

OT Now

Volume 15, Issue 3: The trouble with transfers: Thoughts on barriers and solutions to home lifting equipment from a student occupational therapist and equipment user Natalie Sanborn

Volume 14 Issue 3: Falls prevention: Investigating best practice for community occupational therapists
Anna Tzingounakis

CAOT Publications

An Occupational Therapists’ Guide to Home Modification Practice Elizabeth Ainsworth and Desleigh De Jonge

Other items of interest:

Tools For Living Well Toolkit (website)

Quick tips

COTF: Promoting scholarship and research in occupational therapy in Canada

  • 2000 Research Grant, Sandra Hobson: The influence of falling and fear of falling on engagement in self-care, productivity and leisure activities for community-dwelling older adults
  • 1996 Research Grant, Azeena Ratansi: The relationship between functional activities and falls in individuals with established osteoporosis: A potential for occupational therapy

Keep an eye out for next month OT Month theme which is Occupational Therapy and End of Life Care.