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    Fall Prevention and the Missing SLP Link

  • RESOURCES & DISCIPLINES       Bring This Course to You!

    Appropriate Disciplines

    • Physical Therapist
    • Certified Occupational Therapy Asst
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Physical Therapy Asst
    • Speech Language Pathologist
    • Speech Language Pathology Asst

Course Description

Literature over the last 2 decades has shown an obvious link between motor function and cognition. Emerging data suggest therapies designed to improve specific aspects of cognitive function, may also improve gait, increase use of compensatory strategies, and reduce fall risk. Falls and fall-related injuries are a huge concern and costly burden to individuals, society, and healthcare systems. Despite the costly and physical consequences of falls, common interventions and 'fall prevention programs' have been shown to be inadequate or ineffective. This evidence shines a new light on the SLPs ability to target functional safety goals through cognitive therapy to change the outcomes of patient safety. The evidence-based techniques reviewed in this course are applicable to patients with fall concerns who mobilize in any way and/or participate in ADLs, including patients with Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and other neurological diagnoses. This course focuses heavily on evidence-based cognitive therapy techniques to improve patient safety; along with education essentials for training of staff/family as a part of your plan of care. Discussion will include how to target these skills without duplicating services with PT/OT. Course material will cover goal writing for best practice standards and avoiding insurance denials. Specific patient examples and documentation from referral to discharge will be covered. Steps to initiate and/or increase the success of a current fall prevention program will be described. Barriers and challenges will also be reviewed. This course is applicable for therapists who:

  • treat patients with cognitive and fall concerns who mobilize in any way and/or participate in ADLs 
  • treat patients suffering from Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and other neurological diagnoses
  • are looking to expand their caseloads in ethical, functional, and person centered ways
  • are interested in targeting personally relevant goals in cognitive therapy
  • are integrating a multidisciplinary falls prevention team


  1. Attend as part of the LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE in Gulf Breeze, Florida - Studio audience seats are limited - so register today!
  2. Attend via LIVE STREAM from anywhere around the world. Live stream participants will login to access the event from their computer.


  • This live event is streamed in real time. 
  • Course agenda is in Central time, please adjust for your time zone
  • Registrants who attend the live broadcast will be able to interact with instructor.
  • All registrants will have access to the broadcast recording for 14 days.
  • A group may view the course together, however each attendee must be individually registered in order to receive CE credit.


  • Attend/view entire course
  • Pass multiple choice quiz (80% min score)
  • Complete online course evaluation


  • SLPs - this course is registered with ASHA as Blended Learning. ASHA CEUs may be earned by attending live, viewing the recording, or a combination of both.
  • OTs - Participants who need live hours for state license renewal must attend in real time yet, will still have access to the recording for 14 days.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and describe fall risks
  • Describe the link between cognition and falls
  • Define the cognitive domains of attention, executive function, problem solving, memory, and visual perception and how each relates to fall risks; both a broad review and within specific populations
  • Develop goals and individualized treatment targeting attention, executive function, memory, metacognition, and visual perception to reduce fall risk
  • Describe common concerns and practices for age related cognitive disorders and dementia
  • Provide individualized safety education to patients, family, and staff
  • Write patient and discipline specific goals
  • Describe the specific differences between SLP, PT, and OT goals and documentation when working
  • Develop and implement a fall prevention program specific to facility needs

Nikki Howell


Nikki Ourso Howell is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Ochsner Health in Lafayette, LA. She received her Masters degree from New York University in 2009 where she received the Valedictory Certificate of Distinction. Nikki has extensive experience in medical settings including acute care, inpatient rehab, swing bed, skilled nursing facilities, and LTACH’s. She is active in the development of best practices and education of SLPs within hospital systems. Nikki has taught various courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has conducted research studies on attention deficits due to Parkinson’s disease and has presented numerous times to clinicians, medical personnel, and researchers on varied topics related to speech, language, and swallowing disorders within the adult population. Nikki is trained in multiple modalities for treating speech and swallowing disorders including Kinesio Tape, myofascial release, Vital Stim, and Vital Stim Plus.
Financial Disclosure: Nikki is an employee of Ochsner Health Systems and receives honoraria from CIAO Seminars for the presentation of this course. She also receives royalties for the purchase of her recorded course(s)
Non-Financial Disclosure: none

Day 1

08:00 - 08:15
Why do falls matter?
08:15 - 08:30
Why do they happen?
08:30 - 09:30
Link between falls and cognition
09:30 - 09:45
Scope of Practice
09:45 - 10:00
10:00 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:00
Therapy Techniques
12:00 - 12:30
12:30 - 01:00
Dementia and other age-related cognitive concerns
01:00 - 01:30
Avoiding duplication of services
01:30 - 02:00
Goal writing
02:00 - 02:30
Patient examples
02:30 - 02:45
02:45 - 03:00
Barriers and Challenges
03:00 - 03:30
Fall Prevention Programs
03:30 - 04:00
Discussion / Q &A

Delivery VIA:

  • Live Stream - This course is offered from our Live Stream studio. Watch and interact with the instructor from wherever you are or join us as part of the studio audience in sunny Gulf Breeze, FL. Included with each Live Stream registration is access to the course recording for the 14 days immediately following the broadcast.

Contact hours pre-approved for:

  • 7 Hours
  • CIAO is an ASHA Approved Provider (0.7 ASHA CEUs) bubble sheet submission required
  • ASHA CE Provider Approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures.
  • This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (7 PDUs)
  • CIAO is an Illinois Approved Provider for PT/PTA Continuing Education
  • CIAO is recognized as an Approved Provider for PT/PTAs by the NYSE Dept State Board for PT
  • This activity is provided by the Texas Board of PT Examiners Accredited Prov #2502009#TX
  • This activity meets continuing competence requirements for PT/PTA license renewal in TX
  • The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE
  • The Physical Therapy Board of California recognizes CIAO Seminars as an Approval Agency to Approve Providers Offering Continuing Competency Courses
  • The Physical Therapy Board of California has determined that CIAO meets the standards set forth in section 1399.95 of the CA Code of Regulations
  • CIAO is a Rule Approved Provider for the Florida Board of Physical Therapy
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy
  • CIAO is a PT Approved Provider #BAP202310092 for the Oklahoma Medical Board. All PT courses for the 2022-2023 reporting period are approved.
  • 7 Hrs. PT/PTAs in IL, OK(#BAP202310092), TX (APTA TX #2502009 for 0.7 CCUs), CA (CIAO23-71), LA
  • 8 Hrs.PT/PTAs, OT/COTAs in FL (CE Broker #20-997758)
  • 8.4 Hrs. PT/PTAs in NY
  • 8 Hrs. Registered with CEBroker for OT/COTAs in AL, AZ, GA, LA, MS, SC, TN
  • 8 Hrs. Registered with CEBroker for PT/PTAs in AZ, GA, OK, SC, TN

Course meets requirements for:

  • PT/PTAs in AL, AK, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, HI, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, MT,
  • PT/PTAs in NE, NH, NC, ND, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY
  • OT/COTAs in AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, ID, IA, IN, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT,
  • OT/COTAs in NE, NV, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WY

  • Introductory Level
    0.7 ASHA CEUs

    CIAO Automatically reports to CE Broker for Florida Occupational and Physical Therapists and Assistants. Florida SLPs can either use the ASHA CE Participant Form (Bubble Sheet) or self-submit through CE Broker.

    CIAO is recognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)


    Outstanding course! Thank you for sharing your specific goals and all those wonderful charts Nikki! I feel you've succeeded in inspiring many SLPs to change typical practice patterns...focusing on one patient at a time :-)

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2024

    Excellent class focusing on relevant, functional, patient-centered therapy.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2024

    Great course! Amazing speaker. Thank you!

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2024

    Very interesting and informative course.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    This was a great course and Nikki is a great speaker. I would definitely enjoy taking more courses with her.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    By far the best CEU course I have "been" to - absolutely function and practical. Love how treatment based the course is as well as including all disciplines involved in the patient care. Great presentation, slides, info, and research. I want my nursing, PT/OT, and physicians (who do NOT write speech therapy orders for cognition unless I beg, plead, and give reasoning - even then will tell me "no") to watch/read this!! Thank you!

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    Nikki is a delightful presenter, great sense of humor and loved her personal comments. Kept my attention and interest throughout the course. Very practical and realistic information

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    The speaker was just wonderful and personable. She was very prepared and provided evidenced based information that was very practical. I'm very glad she added more treatment examples.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    Thought this was a really engaging and practical course working as an ST in a SNF.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    Thank you for an enjoyable and informative class. I feel this will help me greatly as I continually try to be more patient-relevant with goals and treatment tasks. I wanted to mention Blaze pods. Have you used these? In my previous job, I was able to use these, and they were great for DTT with patients for whom the motor component needed to be while seated.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    Fantastic course, excellent presentation and resources. Best class I have taken in several years as it is directly related to my caseload and type of facility.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    Appreciated case studies and examples of written goals. Good therapy tasks. Thanks

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    The course was very long. It would be better if it could be broken up into smaller segments in the future, but it is nice we can go back and review information for 2 weeks.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Sep 2023

    Excellent seminar; I gained knowledge, new clinical methods and how to assist my patients and so much more.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023

    I really appreciated this course and all your insight! This is a great step for us really bringing our skills to the table for skilled nursing facilities.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023

    Great presentation from Niki!

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023

    This course and the speaker was FANTASTIC!!!!

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023

    To be honest this was far more helpful and interesting that I thought it would be. My 92 year old mother lives with me. I got many ideas for helping her be more functional in my home. Just an added benefit along with improving my effectiveness on the job. Thank you Nikki.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023

    Great speaker and course; very relevant

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023

    "I just love CIAO and the staff. The studio and livestream are the next best thing to being there in Pensacola! One of these times, I hope to be in the studio! Thank you for the convenience and for getting us all the continuing education benefits. You are all the best.! Thank you Leslie! Ciao.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023

    More information on this topic including more specific assessment and treatment protocols would be great! For example a long version of an assessment that can be adjusted down to be patient specific and more specific treatment protocols, plus general info on how long does a treatment plan look like to see results.

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023

    This was great! Information was up-to-date and practical. My computer froze a lot during the first half. I have to admit it was frustrating as I missed a few things, but it improved during second half. Thank you for a great CEU course!

    - Live Streaming or Studio Audience, FL / Apr 2023