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What's Up With Falling Down?

presented by Rich Briggs

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How does a person with the decline inherent in aging, progressive disease, or a terminal illness continue to maintain mobility, safety, and independence in the face of the affronts to their physical ability and personal dignity? Falls, with the identification of risk and strategies for management during hospice, palliative, and end of life care, are the focus of this course. Patient and family engagement reveal areas of concern along with appropriate therapy assessment tools; clinical interventions achieve patient-centered goals. Particular attention is applied to unique transitions experienced during decline with practical education options. The course concludes with a discussion of the therapist role in supporting patient autonomy, family concern, and acceptable fall risks during the natural end of life path.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Rich Briggs, PT, MA

    Richard Briggs PT, MA has a clinical practice specializing in palliative care and hospice for the past 30 years. He has taught at the APTA National Conference and Combined Sections Meeting, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Clinical and Management Conferences, the California Hospice Foundation, and is Adjunct Faculty at California State University, Sacramento. His articles have been published in Rehabilitation Oncology, Home Health Section Quarterly, NHPCO Insights and Complementary Therapies Handbook, Geriatric Physical Therapy 3rd Edition, and Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. He has served as chair of the NHPCO Allied Therapist Section and founded the APTA Hospice and Palliative Care SIG.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Managing Falls with a Person in Decline

    1. Managing Falls with a Person in Decline

    Rich Briggs begins this course by discussing the frequency of falls in older adults and identifying standards of practice in fall management. Participants will learn patient/family concerns about autonomy and when falls are acceptable as a natural process at end of life.

  2. Risk Management

    2. Risk Management

    In Chapter 2, participants will learn about the spectrum from maximum safety to high risk. They will learn how to apply the components of Triangle of Safety.

  3. Physical Assessment Issues and Tools

    3. Physical Assessment Issues and Tools

    Participants will learn to identify and advise about environmental hazards and utilize targeted physical and functional assessments. Rich Briggs demonstrates how to apply appropriate fall and balance assessment measures.

  4. The Role of Therapy in Fall Management

    4. The Role of Therapy in Fall Management

    Rich Briggs identifies medical interventions affecting mobility and risks. He provides risk management tools and information to patient/family and demonstrates equipment options.

  5. Psychosocial and Spiritual Issues of Falling

    5. Psychosocial and Spiritual Issues of Falling

    The final chapter in this course begins by identifying normal practice rituals of functional mobility. Participants will learn to recognize near death awareness communication and appreciate potential body/spirit transitional experiences.