Disciplines:
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapy Assistants
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Veronica Southard, PT, DHSc, GCS, CEEAA
Peer Reviewer(s): Danille Parker, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA
Item#: Q3491
Contents: 1 Course Book (72 pages)

Multidimensional Functional Assessment of the Older Adult



Price $29.95
Item # Q3491
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Adults age 65 and older represent the fastest growing population both in the United States and in the world.  Aging can be associated with many health challenges that compromise the ability to live independently and participate in life. Older adults represent a unique population due to the broad variability and range in age, abilities, and overall health.  Physical therapy practitioners and other rehabilitation providers play a pivotal role in maximizing function, participation, and well-being for older adults. To be effective in this role, however, rehabilitation professionals must have a strong understanding of the complex interplay among typical age-related changes, chronic conditions, and the environment. Most importantly, the physical therapist must be able to use the most appropriate assessment tools to address these factors.

This basic-level course reviews key age-related changes and common health issues that challenge functional performance and participation among older adults. Evidence-based guidelines and tools to assess the multidimensional health needs of older adults using the ICF model are presented, with special considerations for gerontological and culturally sensitive practice. 

This course enables physical therapy practitioners to understand and assess functional performance in older adults using a multidimensional approach. Client factors (including physical, cognitive, and psychosocial factors) and their impact on performance skills are reviewed. The ICF model serves as the basis for assessment and determination of functional limitations and contextual factors. Various measurement tools are provided as possible resources for clinicians. This course also presents additional information on G-codes and functional limitation reporting, which will assist clinicians in documentation and billing in clinical practice.


Texas PTs & PTAs - This activity is provided by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Accredited Provider #1611021TX and meets continuing competence requirements for PT & PTA license renewal in Texas.

Course Objectives
  • Identify current demographics and health trends among adults age 65 and older.
  • Define health and function of older adults using the ICF model and Schwartz’s “slippery slope” continuum.
  • Based on the ICF model, describe age-related changes in body structure and function, activity, and participation, along with appropriate assessment tools.
  • Based on the ICF model, describe age-related changes in personal and environmental factors, along with appropriate assessment tools.
  • Identify additional factors that may affect the functional assessment of older adults.
Veronica Southard, PT, DHSc, GCS, CEEAA, is a full-time associate professor in the physical therapy program at the New York Institute of Technology, where she teaches geriatrics, modalities, neurorehabilitation, orthopedics, and ADL/rehabilitation. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Hunter College in 1979 and an advanced master’s degree in physical therapy from Long Island University in 1986. In 2000, she was board-certified in geriatrics by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. In addition, she earned a doctorate in health sciences from the University of St. Augustine in 2004. She received certification as an exercise expert for aging adults in 2010 through the APTA Section on Geriatrics. Dr. Southard has practiced in nursing homes, rehabilitation, acute care, outpatient services, and pediatrics. She currently practices in home health. She is interested in vestibular rehabilitation and has published on topics pertaining to older adults with impairments in balance, falls, congestive heart failure, and Parkinson’s disease. Her research also examines outcomes assessment tools and the effects of exercise on balance.
Danille Parker, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA, graduated with a bachelor of life science degree and master of physical therapy degree in 1998 from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, and a doctorate in physical therapy in 2009 from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Parker is co-director of clinical education and clinical associate professor in the Physical Therapy Department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where her teaching focuses on clinical education, patient management, pathophysiology and the aging adult, and exercise prescription. An APTA board-­certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy, a certified exercise expert for the aged adult, and a certified StrongWomen Program leader, Dr. Parker has worked in a variety of clinical environments, including inpatient rehabilitation, acute care, outpatient orthopedic, and geriatric subacute care. Her clinical practice focuses on the management of older adult patients with a variety of medical disorders, impaired strength, and balance dysfunction, as well as the development of wellness exercise programs for older adults. Since 2001, she has provided local, state, national, and international educational sessions to professional and public audiences on topics that include clinical education, teaching models, professional behaviors, functional aging assessment, exercise prescription, posture, fibromyalgia, and technology in rehabilitation. She is a member of APTA, has served in varied leadership roles within the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, and also serves on the Wisconsin Chapter of APTA as a member of the Wisconsin Clinical Education Consortium and a member of the nominating committee.

  • Courses must be completed within one (1) year of the date of purchase.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.