Researchers Create Home Safety Self-Assessment Tool to Help Prevent Falls

The HSSAT can assist people in finding and correcting hazards to prevent falls.

Published August 2, 2013

One in three adults ages 65 and older suffer falls every year, and since more than 44 million seniors are aging in place, many of these falls occur in the home. To help prevent such accidents, researchers and occupational therapists at the University at Buffalo SUNY School of Public Health and Health Professions have created the Home Safety Self-Assessment Tool (HSSAT), which details ways to prevent falls. This project was funded by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York.

The HSSAT was developed by the Occupational Therapy Geriatric Group in the school’s department of rehabilitation science. Primary members of the group are Dr. Machiko R. Tomita, director of aging and technology research, Dr. Susan Nochajski, director of the occupational therapy program, and Ms. Jo Schweitzer, director of occupational therapy clinical education.

An article describing HSSAT, titled “Occupational Therapy Community Practice and Home Assessments: Use of the Home Safety Self-Assessment Tool (HSSAT) to Support Aging in Place,” was published in the July 13 issue of Occupational Therapy in Health Care.

The current HSSAT, version three, is available on the University at Buffalo’s Aging and Technology Research Center website, found here.