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Fit For Life patient handling training course.

Occupational Therapy Environmental Assessments for New Buildings or Renovations


Since 2001 we have witnessed the changing face of nursing homes and long-term care facilities with many new homes being built. Almost all other homes have had to extend and or renovate to continue to operate within HIQA standards. We have witnessed successful projects in accommodating and improving the needs of their residents and staff but also some that have been ill advised and requiring expensive post build alterations. Due to this onsite practical experience and the widening base of our expertise we have been providing proprietors of new builds or extensions expert advice at all stages of planning.

This expertise covers an initial comprehensive Occupational Therapy (OT) environmental assessment to ensure that all aspects of the building configure to standard regulations. In addition, multidisciplinary (MDT) based expertise is provided on the design of all the types of rooms (bedrooms, bathrooms) ensuring the correct layout and positioning of assistive devices (handrails) to promote safety and independence.

Particular attention is paid to seating to ensure that there is appropriate variation and suitability for all dependency levels and areas. The selection of the appropriate seating for sitting rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms at this stage can greatly enhance individual’s functional ability, reduce the need for specialised seating and reduce the risk of falls.

Expert advice can also be given to ensure that the new build is a dementia friendly environment including appropriate areas for activities to encourage independence. Set up of treatment rooms and sourcing therapeutic equipment is also a service that we can provide. Further recommendations can be provided upon review of fixtures and fittings and the structure and layout of the kitchen, laundry rooms, treatment rooms and activity rooms. In order to ensure that your new build works as seamlessly as possible for everyone we also recommend that ergonomic assessments of all staff activities are carried out.

New build assessment outline:

  • Comprehensive OT environmental assessment, report and recommendations.

  • MDT recommendations on appropriate furniture and fittings.

  • Specifications for safe environment for all while promoting independence.

  • Ergonomic manual handling assessments for all staff activities.


Duration: Depends on the size of the build and the level of input required.



  • Avoid costly structural adaptations post build completion and furnishing.

  • To ensure appropriate furniture is purchased for long term use and suitability for all resident dependency and body shapes and sizes while maintaining aesthetic look.

  • Avoiding the purchase of expensive specialised chairs for more dependent residents due to poor initial variety in selection of chairs.

  • Reduce the risk of falling from environmental factors.

  • Ensure that buildings will be in line with best practice regulations.

  • Efficient use of the building to promote independence for residents.

  • Reduce the rate of staff injury due to correct ergonomics in place for healthcare and non-healthcare staff.

  • Marketing tool to educate potential clients in relation to the best practice efforts to maximise all resident’s independence.

  • Physiotherapy
    Physiotherapy involves evaluating, diagnosing and treating a range of injuries, disorders and disabilities in order to optimize the person’s mobility and functional capacity. Our chartered physiotherapists are graduate level healthcare practitioners specializing in the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal, neurological, orthopaedic, respiratory and cardiac conditions. They provide a broad range of assessment and therapy services specifically developed for the older adult population. Physiotherapy Services Include: ½ Day Inhouse Physiotherapy Services for Nursing Homes: ½ day weekly (3-4hrs). Extended Inhouse Physiotherapy Service for Nursing Homes: e.g. 2 ½ days p/week. Private Inhouse Physiotherapy sessions: Individual residents can book private appointments with our physiotherapists weekly. Falls Risk Assessments. *All of these services are carried out by Chartered Physiotherapists, members of the I.S.C.P.
  • Occupational Therapy
    Occupational Therapy is designed to promote health, prevent injury or disability and develops, improves or sustains an individual’s level of independence. The most common referrals for our OT services include: Seating and pressure relief. Positioning and the prevention of contractures. Assisting activities of daily living (ADL’s) e.g. showering, eating, correct use of aids. Recommendations for environmental changes to assist ADL’s. Occupational Therapy Services Include: ½ Day inhouse Occupational Therapy Services for Nursing Homes: ½ day weekly (3-4hrs). Extended inhouse Occupational Therapy Services for Nursing Homes: e.g. 2 ½ days p/week. Private Inhouse Occupational Therapy sessions: Individual residents can book private appointments with our occupational therapists weekly. Falls Risk Assessments. *All of these services are carried out by Occupational Therapists, members of the A.O.T.I. (Assoc. of Occupational Therapists of Ireland).
  • Fit For Life - Group Exercise Therapy – Fitness Classes for Older Adults
    Fit For Life have been delivering researched based group exercise therapy since 2001. Group exercise has been extensively researched and is highly recommended as an ideal form of physical activity especially for the older adult. Fit For Life’s experience and expertise has led to the development of successful exercise intervention for older adults at all levels of physical ability. We deliver progressive, innovative and fun group exercise classes for older adults ensuring that benefits are gained by all who participate in our programmes. ​ The benefits of physical activity include staying independent if possible. We all know the importance of independence and we work with people as this becomes more challenging. We ensure that individuals achieve their own potential, providing support with personal goals, and best practice interventions to achieve these goals. ​ A Fit For Life group exercise class will be: Researched, designed and developed from years of experience and expertise. Measured – individual assessments are made prior, during and post 12 weeks block of classes to measure progress. Able to cater for specific populations and medical conditions and for participants of different levels of ability or fitness. Fun, social, innovative and easily tailored to all participants. Delivered by a certified Fit For Life trainer. Group Exercise Therapy Services Include: Groups adapted to all levels of capabilities: Nursing Home/Day-care Populations Stand Strong Balance and Falls prevention classes: Community & Fit for Life Clinic Physical and Cognitive Classes; Suitable for Alzheimer’s and related dementia. To find out more click here or call 01-2137915 to speak to one of our senior management team about your bespoke requirements.
  • Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia – Group and Individual Exercise Therapy
    We have developed programmes that are suitable for varying levels of cognitive impairment. Our aims and goals improve physical function, reducing the risk of falls and improving mood and levels of agitation. We introduce equipment with our programmes that have very positive results with this population, creating socially engaging environments and positive stimulation. ​ We introduce programmes that combine endurance exercise, functional exercise and social games. What is important is that our therapists know the clients and provide meaningful activities that ensure a person-centered intervention. Thus, providing a specific session to the client’s needs and abilities. ​ Using this approach and having flexible programmes that can be adapted when required our therapists have the experience and know how to consistently deliver effective and engaging programmes. Please click here or call us on 01-2137915 to speak to one of our senior managers.
  • Allied Therapies
    Physical Therapy Physical Therapy is a healthcare profession which involves the treatment or management of pain, disability and impaired movement by means of massage, myofascial techniques, joints mobilizations and exercise therapy. Our Physical Therapists are graduate level healthcare practitioners, who work to restore full normal movement and to reduce or eliminate pain resulting from injury, infirmity and from medical conditions. ​*All of these services are carried out by Physical Therapists, members of the IAPT (Irish Assoc. of Physical Therapists). Athletic Therapy A Certified Athletic Therapist (CAT) is a graduate level (BSc, level 8 NFQ) healthcare practitioner specializing in musculoskeletal management, exercise-based rehabilitation and fitness. This therapist specializes in evidence-based assessment, treatment and advanced rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions. Your Certified Athletic Therapist will complete a comprehensive assessment of your presenting condition and contributing factors. This may include physical tests for range of motion, strength and specific special tests of the involved body parts as appropriate. Your CAT will then develop, implement, review and progress a treatment and rehabilitation plan with you. Your treatment plan may include manual therapies such as massage, myofascial/soft tissue release techniques, trigger point dry needling, joint mobilizations and/or electro or thermotherapies or taping techniques. And it will almost definitely include a home rehabilitation and exercise program which may focus on developing strength, range of motion, improving your balance and decreasing your falls risk! *All of these services are carried out by Certified Athletic Therapists, members of A.R.T.I. (Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland) and BASRAT (British Assoc. of Sports Rehabilitators & Trainers).

To find out more please call (01) 213 7915 or click below to speak to one of our senior management team.

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