Extrinsic Risk Factors

Approved for 1 CEU

Time: 1:01:13


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Risk factors for falls can be either intrinsic (from within an individual) or extrinsic (from the outside).  This presentation will focus on a review of some of the most common extrinsic risk factors for falls and offer helpful strategies to reduce or minimize these outside influences.

  1. Identify at least three (3) of the most common extrinsic risk factors associated with falls/injuries.
  2. List at least one (1) possible strategy to minimize the risk of inadequate or poor lighting.
  3. List at least one (1) possible strategy to minimize the risk of unstable surfaces.
  4. List at least one (1) possible strategy to minimize the risk of tripping or unsure footing.


Sarah Shearer-Smith has spent all of her physical therapy career working with the geriatric population in various post-acute rehabilitation settings: skilled nursing, long-term care, memory care, and continuing care communities.

Before joining Consonus, she served in a multitude of roles for two national providers of skilled therapy, providing direct patient care, supervising both clinical and operational outcomes, and coordinating physical, occupational, and speech-language pathology services across multiple states.

Sarah now serves as the NW Director of Clinical Services for Oregon, Washington, and Nevada for Consonus Healthcare, where she is responsible for customer and therapist education surrounding federal/state regulations, assisting with the development of company compliance and clinical policies/procedures, coordinating clinical and documentation action plans, and training core clinical programs. In addition, she serves as both the Denial/Appeal Coordinator and, with the assistance of her Internship Coordinator, the SCCE coordinating PT, PTA, OT, OTA, and ST internships across all Consonus Healthcare sites.

She attended Loma Linda Medical University, where she earned her Master’s degree in Physical Therapy (1999) and her Post-Professional Clinical Doctorate of Physical Therapy (2006), and is certified as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist/GCS (since 2007), Certified Exercise Expert for the Aging Adult/CEEAA (since 2017), AANAC Resident Assessment Coordinator-Certified (RAC-CT) (since 2018), AANAC Resident Assessment Coordinator-Certified Advanced (RAC-CTA) (since 2019), and Dementia Care Specialist (since 2018). Sarah is also a certified trainer for the APTA’s Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program (CCIP).

She has served as a as a guest lecturer and trainer for various universities, state associations, long-term care associations, and continuing education events for diverse topics including: CMS guidelines, documentation best practices, management of Quality Indicators, caseload development/management, geriatric strengthening, falls prevention, balance system assessment/treatment strategies, and the assessment/treatment of patients with cognitive impairments and/or chronic conditions.

Extrinsic Risk Factors

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