Preventing Falls in Older Adults: Risk Factors and Interventions

Activity description

Falls are the leading cause of injury in individuals over age 65. Fall prevention in older adults and for those in skilled nursing facilities (SNF) continues to be a major focus for quality improvement in patient safety. Preventing these falls is an ongoing challenge to the entire interdisciplinary care team.

The Strategies to Reduce Injuries and Develop Confidence in Elders (STRIDE) trial, which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of evidence-based strategies to reduce serious fall-related injuries, will be discussed. In addition, faculty will identify risk factors that contribute to falls in the older adult as well as for individuals in SNFs, and provide interventions to reduce the risk of falls. The importance of a multidisciplinary approach in fall management will also be explored.

Provided by
This activity is provided by OptumHealth Education and OptumCare.

Commercial support
No commercial support was received for this activity.
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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of case managers, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, PAs, physicians, social workers and other HCPs who are interested fall prevention.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • State risk factors that contribute to falls in older adults, as well as for individuals in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).
  • Identify potential interventions that can be applied to reduce the risk of falls in older adults, along with their effectiveness, benefits and harms.
  • Explore the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to prevent falls in older adults, including individuals within SNFs.
  • Discuss the goal and purpose of the Strategies to Reduce Injuries and Develop Confidence in Elders (STRIDE) trial in evaluating the effectiveness of evidence-based strategies to reduce serious fall-related injuries.

Additional Information

Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 ASWB - Social Workers
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 


Nancy Latham PhDNancy Latham, PhD, PT
Associate Epidemiologist
Brigham & Woman’s Hospital
Lecturer, Department of Medicine
Harvard University
Fred Ko MDFred Ko, MD
Geriatrician Scientist and Associate Professor
Icahn School of Medicine
The Mount Sinai Hospital
Siobhan McMahon PhdSiobhan McMahon, PhD, MPH, GNP-BC
Associate Professor
Adult and Gerontological Health Cooperative
The University of Minnesota School of Nursing 

About the presenters

Dr. Latham is an Associate Epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Lecturer in the Department of Medicine at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts.  She completed her training in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto and McGill University, a PhD at the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Auckland and an NIDRR post-doctoral fellowship in Health Services Research at Boston University. Her research interest is in applying methods from the field of clinical epidemiology, such as randomized controlled trials, cohort studies and meta-analyses, to rehabilitation and disability-related research. She is particularly interested in innovative interventions to extend the benefits of rehabilitation programs to people in the community after usual rehabilitation care ends. She was a co-principal investigator of the HIP Rehab trial, an RCT of a home-based exercise program for people after hip fracture which was published in JAMA. She is currently the Study Director of the STRIDE study, a pragmatic randomized controlled trial of a primary care–based intervention to reduce serious fall-related injuries in 10 health systems in the U.S.  She is also the principal investigator on studies to evaluate technology to improve health and function in persons with Parkinson Disease and Spinal Cord Injury. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and is on the editorial board of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Ko is a geriatrician scientist and associate professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His research interests are to determine aging-related molecular mechanisms that increase risks for poor surgical outcomes such as frailty and immobility and to develop mechanism-driven interventions that prevent, attenuate or reverse these surgery-associated adverse outcomes in vulnerable older adults. Dr. Ko received his medical degree from the George Washington University, where he also completed residency training in Internal Medicine. He completed fellowship training in Geriatric Medicine at the John Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Ko received master of science degrees in physiology from UCLA and in clinical research from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine. His clinical and educational expertise focuses on the management of geriatric syndromes including falls and frailty in older adults across clinical settings. 

Dr. McMahon is Associate Professor, Adult and Gerontological Health Cooperative at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She is a board certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. Dr. McMahon earned her PhD in nursing and health innovation from Arizona State University, her Master of Public Health in nursing from the University of Illinois and her MSN and BSN from Marquette University. Dr. McMahon’s research focuses on promoting health and wellness among older adults, particularly those with fall risk. Her studies examine the relative effects of behavior change strategies on older adults' motivation and action to make physical activity part of their everyday life. The overarching purpose of these studies is to optimize physical activity interventions for older adults and reduce the public health problem of falls and their devastating effects on quality of life.

Activity planners

Sarah Chart, RN
Senior Director
OptumHealth Education
Eden Prairie, MN

Rebecca Gleason, RN, CCM
Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education
Eden Prairie, MN

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, Optum Health Education (OHE) requires all those in control of educational content to disclose their financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. Ineligible companies are defined by the ACCME as companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients. Individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies and regardless of their view of the relevance of the relationship to the education. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

Dr. Latham has disclosed that she is a consultant for Best Buy Health. The remaining activity faculty and planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

Method for calculating CE credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation statement
Joint Provider LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealth Group – Center for Clinician Advancement. OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the health care team.

Credit designation statements
Interprofessional EducationThis activity was planned by and for the health care team, and learners will receive 1.00 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change.

The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Pharmacists/Pharmacy technicians
This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hour ([0.10] CEU) in states that recognize ACPE.
Attending the full program will earn 1.00 contact hour.
Unique Activity Number(s):  JA0007123-9999-22-179-H04-P/T

OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Counselors, social workers and/or marriage and family therapists
Participants must have attended the entire Web-based activity and completed a post-activity assessment and an evaluation to receive a certificate. Partial credit is not available.

Social workers
ACE ABSW LogoAs a Jointly Accredited Organization, OptumHealth Education is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 1.00 continuing education credits.

Counselors and/or marriage and family therapists
CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to ASWB for its licensees. See those approvals under Social Workers.
Other States: If your state is not specifically listed, nearly all state Counselor and MFT boards accept ASWB approval, or are reciprocal with other state licensing board approvals, such as those listed below. Check with your board to be sure.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization from which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 ASWB - Social Workers
Please log in to register.

You must be logged into your account to participate in this activity. Get started by clicking “Begin/Continue” and viewing the “Preventing Falls”; then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen. At the end of the activity, you will be able to view, save or print your certificate of participation. A complete listing of all of your activities can be found under “My Account”, “My Activities.”

Questions: Email