Balance and Falls: Factors, Measurements, and Interventions for Home Health

This is one of 5 online modules which comprise the Advanced Competency in Home Health. The five core modules are also available as a Learning Path which allows for a "bundle" discount - check out the entire learning path here: Home Health Advanced Competency Learning Path

The Advanced Competency is awarded only when you complete all 5 core modules, the in-person 2-day course, and several online elective courses within 18 months of start date. NOTE: Enrollment in the full program is not required to take this online course.

Learn more about the Advanced Competency.

Course Description:

SPECIAL NOTE: There is NO narration for this module - simply open the .pdf and read through each of 3 parts to be able to complete the assessment and obtain the CEUs and certificate.

This 4-hour course examines the physical and physiological issues that relate to balance and falls and how physical therapists in the home care setting can intervene to promote positive change. Components of this course include an overview of psychosocial issues and behavioral characteristics that contribute to falls, statistics related to falls and how falls influence hospital re-admissions, and provide guidance regarding tests and measures to identify balance-related problems and predict falls. This course also provides strategies and interventions for falls, as well as behavioral changes to promote activity in the older adult.


Nancy C. Donovan, Ph.D, PT. Dr. Donovan received a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 1985 in the discipline of Exercise Science, with a specialization in Motor Control. She has been a professor at Miami University of Ohio, The University of Illinois and in the Department of Physical Therapy at The University of New England. She has worked as an outpatient therapist at an independent clinic and in the inpatient and outpatient departments in two hospitals. Currently, she is a Home Care Physical Therapist for Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice in Maine. Nancy served as the Director of Research for the Section on Women’s Health for six years, and as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy for 13 years. Nancy provided pro bono physical therapy at a free health clinic for 13 years. In February 2017 she received the Elizabeth Noble Award from the Section on Women’s Health. The award is the highest honor given by the Section on Women’s Health and is given to individuals who have provided extraordinary and exemplary service to the Section on Women’s Health. During her free time Nancy enjoys kayaking, bicycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, gardening, and establishing bird and butterfly habitats at her home in Bridgton, Maine.

Francine B Hepler, MS PT, DPT. A physical therapist for 34 years with 25 years of experience in home health care. Other areas of special interest include geriatrics, education and clinical instruction. Dr. Hepler earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 1983 and an Advanced Master of Science in Physical Therapy Education in 1991. She will graduate with a DPT in May 2017 and is on course to attain her specialist certification in geriatrics in March 2017.

Francine’s background in physical therapy is diverse and includes work in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing environment, and outpatient settings. She has extensive experience in the educational setting and was responsible for the development of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Delaware Technical Community College. Responsibilities in this position included the development of the curriculum and all course materials and assisting with initial Accreditation status as well as maintaining Accreditation with the CAPTE. In addition to coordinating the PTA program she was a primary Faculty Member, student mentor, Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education, and Clinical Instructor.

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Course Code:


Completion Instructions

First, review the course presentation handout.

Second, click on "assessment" in the green menu bar on the right to complete the graded assessment. You must complete it with a minimum of 70% score.

Course level


Date published


Delivery method



Nancy Donovan; Francine Hepler

Learning objectives

  1. Examine the data related to numbers and causes of falls
  2. Analyze the risk factors for falls
  3. Identify the different causes of falls
  4. Examine various interventions that can be used by the home health therapist


Home Health Section

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Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Domains:Home Health, Francine Hepler, Balance and Falls, Nancy Donovan
Key Dates
Enrollment:Prior to  06/24/2021