Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) you can trust: Clear, Repeatable, Customized

OT Works!’ Functional Capacity Evaluations are conducted by qualified Occupational Therapists with extensive FCE experience. They have served a range of clients providing dependable, accurate, and reliable assessments. 

Understanding the FCE

The purpose of an FCE is to determine an individual’s ability to perform specific job-related activities safely and effectively. Our occupational therapists conduct a thorough evaluation of physical strength, mobility, coordination, endurance for physical and cognitive activities and other relevant factors. During the assessment, individuals take part in standardized tests, exercises, and simulated work tasks that replicate the physical and/or cognitive demands of their job or the type of work they are seeking to perform.  FCEs are typically longer duration assessments, up to 6-8 hours and in some instances testing occurs over several consecutive days. This enables the occupational therapist to evaluate the client’s ability to sustain work tasks and work productivity over time.

FCEs also include testing that evaluates the client’s level of effort provided during the assessment. This enables the occupational therapist to determine if the assessment findings are an accurate representation of the client’s abilities and limitations.

FCEs also include testing for the client’s reliability with respect to pain and disability reports. This enables the occupational therapist to determine whether the client’s subjective reports regarding their symptoms and disability are consistent with what is observed. Effort and reliability testing enable the occupational therapist to more accurately determine how the client would perform in a real work setting.

What sets OT Works!’ FCEs apart

FCE’s can be completed by a number of different healthcare providers.  Here is what separates ones done by OT Works! from the rest:

  • Conducted by Occupational Therapists: all of our assessors are registered and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of BC. Our OTs also provide occupational therapy treatment, and have specific rehab experience working on function with similar clients
  • Experienced with FCEs – all of our assessors have a minimum 5 years of experience conducting FCEs
  • Holistic approach – Occupational therapists  evaluate clients holistically, taking into consideration their physical, cognitive and emotional abilities, as well as their environments
  • Customized solutions – our FCE’s are focused on the specific request.  While our reports are objective reliable, and use standardized assessments, they address the main question that the customer needs answered.  We listen to our customers and clients and focus our attention on their specific situation–its not a “one size fits all” solution
  • Central location– our modern Class A assessment facility in New Westminster is centrally located in the Lower Mainland and is easily accessible by transit.

Different Types of FCEs and OT assessments

There are different types of assessments and FCE’s that OT Works! can provide, depending on the specific client’s needs.

Medical-Legal FCE:

A medical-legal FCE is specifically conducted within a legal context, such as workers’ compensation disputes or personal injury cases. Its purpose is to provide an objective evaluation of an individual’s functional abilities and limitations that can be used as evidence in legal proceedings. A medical-legal FCE is characterized by impartiality, documentation of functional limitations, and the use of experts with specialized training and experience in performing evaluations for legal purposes.

Rehab FCE

A rehab FCE, also known as a vocational or occupational FCE, focuses on assessing an individual’s functional abilities and limitations in relation to returning to work or participating in vocational rehabilitation. It is commonly used in occupational rehabilitation, workers’ compensation cases, and disability management. The goals of a rehab-FCE include determining the individual’s current capabilities and limitations, assessing readiness for work or vocational rehabilitation, identifying suitable job tasks and accommodations, and developing customized rehabilitation plans based on the assessment findings.

Cognitive FCE

A Cognitive FCE typically involves a series of standardized tests and tasks that assess various cognitive domains, such as memory, attention, problem-solving, decision-making, and information processing. The evaluation may also include activities that simulate work-related tasks to assess an individual’s ability to handle specific job requirements.

OT Assessments

An OT assessment considers physical, cognitive, sensory, and psychosocial barriers to function, while assessing current capacity for self-care, work, leisure, and other activities important for daily life.
It includes objective, standardized assessments and observations of function, and typically focuses on developing return to work and/or rehabilitation recommendations.

An OT functional assessment is typically shorter than an FCE(i.e. 2-3 hours vs. 8 hours for an FCE) and is less costly.  Because of its shorter duration, an OT assessment cannot define  overall tolerances or activity endurance related to return to full-time work.
Also OT functional assessments usually take place in  community settings, workplaces or in the client’s home, while the FCEs take place in a standardized clinic setting.

Finally, OT assessments do not typically comment on the reliability of the client’s reports, and validity of the results, which are typically required in legal proceedings.

Our FCE Team

At OT Works!, our team of certified-FCE providers has extensive experience in conducting FCE assessments. They have helped many clients in their return to work and rehabilitation journeys.

Haley Tencha

  • Certified as a Work Capacity Evaluator through Roy Matheson and Associates in 2013 and recertified in 2016 and 2020. Completed the Employment Potential Improvement Corporation (EPIC) Lifting course to become a Certified EPIC Lifting Capacity Evaluator.  Also completed Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluation course through Roy Matheson and Associates in 2019.
  • For the past 10 years, Haley has completed hundreds of medical legal assessments across the Lower Mainland including Functional/Work Capacity Evaluations, Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluations and Cost of Future Care Assessments.
  • She has testified as an expert witness in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on numerous occasions.

Steven Lin

  • Certified to complete Functional Capacity Evaluations. Trained in Isernhagen Work Systems (now known as WorkWell Systems) to complete basic and comprehensive functional capacity evaluations. Completed EPIC lift training but not certified.
  • 16 years of experience and hundreds of rehab functional capacity evaluations. 1 year of experience in medical-legal functional evaluations. Completed training in cognitive functional capacity evaluations.
  • Steven has not testified in court so cannot be counted as an expert witness.

Aman Rangi (rehab FCEs only)

  • Aman is a certified Work Capacity Evaluator through Roy Matheson and Associates at both basic and advanced level. He is also one of the internationally recognized instructors for Roy Matheson and Associates, teaching the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) course. He is also a Certified EPIC Lifting Capacity Evaluator and has completed training in Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluation. When not completing medical-legal assessments, Aman also teaches at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a clinical faculty member in the Master of Occupational Science and Therapy program. 
  • For the past 5 years, Aman has completed medical legal assessments across the Lower Mainland including Functional/Work Capacity Evaluations, Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluations and Cost of Future Care Assessments. He has also carried a rehabilitation caseload. 
  • He has testified as an expert witness in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on multiple occasions

Maren Kristensen

  • Certified as a Work Capacity Evaluator by WorkWell Functional Capacity Evaluation training in 2017. Completed the Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluation course through Roy Matheson Education and Training in 2017.
  • Maren has been completing FCE’s since 2017, with an emphasis in return to work settings.
  • Maren has not testified in court.

OT Works!’ FCE clinic

With a central location in Uptown New Westminster, our clinic is accessible by transit. Located inside Metro Vancouver’s first LEED Gold office building, offering a bright environment and high ceilings, our clinic is fully equipped with functional testing equipment.

With the skills and experience of our team, and access to FCE equipment and procedures, OT Works! can also provide other standardized functional assessments.

Contact us to find out more

Whether you require an FCE for occupational rehabilitation, disability assessment, or workers’ compensation case, you can trust our knowledgeable and skilled therapists at OT Works! to provide you with accurate and meaningful evaluations.

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.  

Introducing Karen, Parisa, and Simone: Occupational Therapists

We are thrilled to present the latest additions to our dynamic team: Karen Gill, Parisa Madani, and Simone Mann – occupational therapists at OT Works!
Since joining us between May and July of 2023, they have been delivering exceptional community-based occupational therapy services. Through their dedicated efforts to incorporate daily routines at home, work, and within the community, they are committed to enhancing independence and guiding clients towards their rehabilitation goals.

Karen earned her Master of Occupational Therapy at McMaster University. She is an advocate for a client-centered approach, aiming to empower individuals to engage in meaningful activities encompassing personal care, employment, and leisure pursuits. Karen has successfully assisted clients navigating challenges related to concussion, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. Her knowledge extends to musculoskeletal and orthopedic injuries, as well as mixed diagnoses. Karen extends her support to a diverse clientele, including those with WSBC and ICBC claims, private-paying clients, and individuals with extended health and disability insurance coverage. Fluent in Punjabi and Hindi, Karen serves the Surrey/Langley area.

Parisa, a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Master of Occupational Therapy program, enriches our team with her valuable background as a Kinesiologist. Her prior experience underscores the significance of active physical therapy for sustainable outcomes. Parisa specializes in aiding clients grappling with musculoskeletal and orthopedic injuries, chronic pain, and mental health challenges on their journey back to the workforce. She extends her guidance to individuals within WSBC, ICBC, private-pay sectors, and those covered by extended health and disability insurance plans. Fluent in Spanish, Parisa serves communities in Surrey, Langley, Burnaby, and New Westminster.

Simone is a dedicated occupational therapist who achieved her Master of Occupational Therapy at Bond University in Australia. She stands out for her compassionate and respectful demeanor, which she combines with innovative, evidence-based interventions tailored to each client’s distinct values and needs. Simone excels in supporting clients dealing with physical injuries, chronic pain management, exposure therapy, and brain injury rehabilitation. With a clientele encompassing WSBC and ICBC claims, private-paying individuals, and those under extended health and disability insurance, Simone brings her expertise to the fore. Fluent in Punjabi and Hindi, she serves clients in Delta, Surrey, Langley, Richmond, New Westminster, and Burnaby.

All our therapists, including Karen, Parisa and Simone, are registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).   

Get started with an OT 

If you or someone you know can benefit from the guidance of a skilled occupational therapist, we invite you to contact us today! 


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.  

Meet Micaylee, Yasmine, and Brenden: Occupational Therapists 

We’re excited to introduce the newest members of our team, Micaylee Pucilowski, Yasmine Mackie, and Brenden James, occupational therapists at OT Works!
They joined our team in February-March 2023, and have since been providing exceptional community OT services to individuals. By implementing daily activities at home, work, and in the community, they work to foster increased independence and help clients achieve their goals. 

Micaylee completed her Master of Occupational Therapy at Western University and has a passion for making a meaningful difference in her clients’ lives. She has experience working with musculoskeletal/orthopaedic injuries, chronic pain, mental health (anxiety/depression), and concussion/traumatic brain injury. Micaylee works with a range of clients, including those with WSBC, ICBC, private-paying clients, and those with extended health/disability insurance. She serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region. 

Yasmine completed her Master of Science in Neuroscience and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta. She is passionate about supporting clients in their recovery through collaboration and engagement in meaningful activities. She has experience working with individuals with musculoskeletal/orthopaedic injuries, chronic pain, mental health concerns (including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, and PTSD), concussion/traumatic brain injury, and mixed diagnoses. Yasmine works with WSBC, ICBC, private paying clients, and those with extended health/disability insurance. She serves clients in the Tri-Cities, Surrey, Burnaby, and New Westminster. 

Brenden completed his Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of British Columbia and his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from McGill University. He has honed his skills in mental health, chronic pain, and mixed diagnoses throughout his academic and professional career. Brenden works with a range of clients, including those with WSBC, ICBC, private-paying clients, and those with extended health/disability insurance. He serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region. 
All our therapists, including Micaylee, Yasmine, and Brenden, are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).     

Get started with an OT   

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!   


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.   

Mental Health Week – #MyStory 

Storytelling is a fundamental part of life. It’s how we share information, culture, language, and ways of life. Stories connect us with our friends, families and ancestors. Sharing personal experiences and stories is not only valuable for promoting understanding — it can help us see the world from different perspectives.  Our stories shape us and the way we interact with each other and the world. 

Stories are an integral part of mental health. It’s through stories that we build connections, make sense of our realities, find support, and reduce stigma. Stories of humanity, healing, and new possibilities. It’s also through listening to our clients and their stories that Occupational Therapists help clients get back to the activities they love.  OT Works! supports CMHA Mental Health Week (May 1-7, 2023) and this year’s theme: #MyStory. 

Understanding Mental Health 

Mental health is the state of our psychological and emotional well-being. It encompasses our emotions, feelings of connection, thoughts, and the ability to manage life’s highs and lows. Throughout our lives, we will all experience periods of positive and negative mental health.  

Everyone has mental health 

Mental health and mental illness are often used interchangeably, but it’s important to note that they are not the same. Mental health is always there and may be positive or negative. Mental illness, however, affects a person’s ability to function over a long period. Someone without a mental illness could experience poor mental health, just as a person living with a mental illness could experience excellent mental health. 

The presence or absence of a mental illness is not a predictor of good mental health 

Mental health is part of every one of us and in all areas of our lives. We bring it with us to our workplaces, schools, our hobbies, recreational activities, and our places of worship – everywhere we go in our communities our mental health is with us. 

Everyone deserves to have the right supports and resources available to foster good mental health 

Mental illnesses are caused by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality, and environmental factors. They are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behaviour associated with significant distress and impaired functioning. 

One-third of people in Canada will experience a mental illness or substance use disorder in their lifetime. 

With the right support, people with mental illnesses can thrive. Just as we take care of our physical health, there are many ways we can help take care of our mental health. 

Look after your mental health 

Everyone can take steps to take care of their mental health.  

Building and nurturing support networks 

Feeling connected to others and to our community not only provides us with a sense of belonging but ensures we have people to lean on when we need to. Friends, family members, co-workers, neighbours, and romantic partners can all be great connections. 

Identifying and feeling our emotions 

Having good mental health doesn’t mean feeling happy all the time. It means being able to identify and experience the wide range of emotions that all humans go through and managing them in a way that is respectful to you and others around you. 

Being active 

Move your body in a way that feels good for you. This can include walking, dancing, running, swimming, stretching, and playing with your kids or animals. Moving your body 20 minutes per day decreases tension levels and improves anxiety, depression, dementia, cognition, and quality of life. 

Trying a new hobby or sport 

Inviting fun and creativity into our routines can help minimize stress and reduce anxiety and depression. Make time for the things that bring you meaning and joy! Whether it’s knitting, reading, bike riding, or baking, there are endless possibilities and activities to get involved in. 

Practicing mindfulness 

Mindfulness is purposely bringing one’s attention to the present moment. When our minds are cluttered, it can be difficult to notice our feelings. Practicing mindfulness and breathing exercises can help calm your mind, become more aware, and create better connections with yourself and others.  

Being kind to ourselves 

While we can’t stop our minds from thinking, we can change how we talk to ourselves. Take a moment and listen to your inner voice. What’s it telling you? Sometimes we don’t realize the amount of negative self-talk we engage in until we stop and listen. We could all benefit from growing our compassionate voice which might sound like how we speak to our loved ones. 

Looking for help 

Safely sharing your stories and struggles with a professional can also be helpful. A mental health professional can support you on your journey to becoming healthier! 

Occupational Therapy, Mental Health, and Stories 

Occupational Therapists (OTs) can listen to your stories in a professional, safe, non-judgmental, and respectful way. 

Our OTs provide trauma-informed care and can help you get back to the activities that are meaningful to you.  

Supporting clients and their mental health is exactly what OTs do!  
OTs can help you find and build the right supports, identify your emotions, get active, try new fun and creative activities, practice mindfulness, and reframe the way you think and speak to yourself. Ultimately, OTs can help you get back to the life you love! 

Contact Us 

At OT Works!, our occupational therapists recognize the importance of listening and understanding.  Our therapists are experienced in providing support for mental health issues.  Our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety, and chronic pain.    

If you or someone you know needs mental health support, contact us today.  


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.  

Learn More 

  • CMHA Mental Health Week 
  • Sharing your Story Safely by the Mental Health Commission of Canada 
  • Wellness Together: mental health support for people in Canada and Canadians abroad. Always free and virtual, 24/7. 
  • Bounce Back: A free, evidence-based program designed to help adults and youth experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression, low mood, or stress, with or without anxiety. 

OT Works! would like to thank CMHA for supplying parts of the content for this post.  

Meet Annu and Perdita: Occupational Therapists 

Welcome Annu Sharma and Perdita Elliott to the OT Works! team.    

Annu and Perdita joined us in January 2023.  

They provide community OT services for individuals by implementing daily activities at home, work and in the community to foster increased independence.  

Annu graduated from the University of British Columbia and dove into a practice area concerned with concussion and chronic pain management. She enjoys working together with clients to determine new ways to overcome their challenges. She has also spent time working in acute trauma and orthopedics where she worked with clients towards a safe transition home. She also has experienced with clients with mental health changes, strokes, TBI, and physical injuries. Annu works with WSBC, ICBC, private-paying clients and those with extended health/disability insurance. She serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region, including Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, and Surrey. 

Perdita has worked in community settings as well as leading clinic-based interdisciplinary pain management programs to enable Veterans to transition to civilian life. Perdita particularly enjoys helping clients who are living with multiple diagnoses, since looking at the whole person and treating the intersection between physical and mental health can lead to strong functional outcomes while having a significant impact on people’s daily lives. She has worked with clients with musculoskeletal/orthopedic injuries, persistent pain, mental health, post cancer, concussion, and mixed diagnoses to both enable engagement in daily activities as well as return to work. Perdita works with WSBC, ICBC, private-paying clients and those with extended health/disability insurance. She serves clients in the Vancouver Island-South region, including Victoria, Esquimalt, Sooke, East Sooke, Saanich, Sidney, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Cowichan Bay and Cobble Hill. 

Like all our therapists, Annu and Perdita are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).     

Get started with an OT   

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!   


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.   

March is Brain Health Awareness Month

Brain Health Awareness Month is a month to remind people to take care of their brains. 

Occupational Therapists provide holistic client-centred therapy that considers the person’s physical, cognitive and emotional strengths and challenges, empowering them to live a healthy lifestyle. 

We cannot talk about a healthy lifestyle without talking about our brains.  

The brain is an integral part of our health, as the brain controls everything in our bodies, from physical ability to cognition to emotions. We rely on our brains for learning, moving, working, making decision, and even doing simple activities, such as watching TV! 

In fact, brain injury is the number one killer and disabler of children and adults under the age of 45. In British Columbia alone, “…between 21 and 38 individuals sustain brain injury each day…” -Health Canada, 2007. 

It’s important to prevent brain injuries and to do things to maintain a healthy brain for a good quality of life. 

Keeping a healthy brain 

Taking care of your brain can be simple and involves having healthy habits. Here are some ideas to keep a healthy brain: 

  • Eat nutritious food: avoid highly processed foods, and give preference to vegetables, fruits, whole grain foods, organic and protein foods. Canada’s Food Guide is a useful source of information for healthy eating.  
  • Exercise regularly: physical activity improves blood flow and can help you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance. Studies suggest that a simple exercise, like walking, can help increase creativity. 
  • Sleep well: sleeping 7-8 hours a day helps our brain reorganize and recover.  
  • Learn new things: when we learn new things, the brain creates new pathways, keeping it active and healthy! 
  • Be creative: creative activities such as reading, writing, making puzzles, playing a musical instrument, singing, and creating art and crafts are fun ways to keep the brain active.  
  • Reduce stress: stress can prematurely age the brain. Take steps to reduce stress in your life such as using relaxation techniques, deep breathing, positive thinking, meditation/praying, visualization, and enjoying nature. 
  • Stay socially connected: staying connected socially helps you stay connected mentally. Research shows that regularly interacting with others may help reduce your risk of developing dementia. 
  • Wear helmets: when playing sports that involve moving quickly or using a ball or a puck. Falls are the leading cause of brain injury, followed by striking or being struck by an object. 
  • Wear PPE at work: a hard hat and other protective equipment can prevent a brain injury at physically active jobs. 

Our therapists have experience with brain injury 

Our therapists have experience helping clients with brain injury to live their best lives. We continuously help WSBC, ICBC, third-party insurer, and private-pay clients with brain injury. 
If you or someone you know had a concussion or a traumatic brain injury, contact us today. 


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.   

Read more about brain health: 


Meet Amna Khan: Occupational Therapist 

Welcome Amna Khan to the OT Works! team

Amna completed her Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT) at University of British Columbia. Her training included experiences in both public health and private practice. Prior to becoming an OT, Amna worked at UBC where she supported several clinical research studies in the areas of oncology, mental health, and rehabilitation. She worked as a behavioural interventionist to support children with ASD and worked as a volunteer to assist rehabilitation of residents in long-term care. Amna is passionate about providing evidence-based and client-centred care to help her clients achieve their functional goals and full potential. Her current areas of focus include: musculoskeletal/orthopaedic injuries, chronic pain, mental health (anxiety, depression), and concussion / traumatic brain injury.  

Amna serves clients in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas, including Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, Delta, White Rock, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Langley, Fort Langley, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford and Mission.  
She works with WorkSafeBC, ICBC, and private paying clients, as well as those with extended health/disability insurance.  

Amna has also taken additional courses and certifications in suicide intervention, serious illness, chronic pain and cognitive rehabilitation.  

Like all our therapists at OT Works!, Amna is registered and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC). 

Get Started with an OT

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!   


Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000. 

November is Fall Prevention Month

Everyone trips or loses their balance from time to time. While most falls do not cause severe injury, a simple fall from standing can cause significant injuries. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among Canadian older adults. 20-30% of older adults fall each year.  

The good news is that there is much you can do as most falls are predictable and preventable. Everyone has a role in preventing falls. You can take simple steps to reduce your risk of falling. 

11 Ways to Prevent a Fall 

1. Improve your mobility and balance 

  • Include balance exercises, such as Tai Chi, Yoga, and dancing, as part of your routine 
  • Take your time to get up from bed and to turn, allowing your body enough time to adapt 
  • Talk to an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist about mobility aids. 

2. Strengthen your muscles and increase your physical activity 

Exercise is good for your heart and circulation, as well as your bones, muscles, and balance. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight and mental well-being. 

  • If you are inactive, start by choosing an activity you like and plan for how to incorporate physical activity safely into your routine. 
  • Look for group activities or classes in your community or get your family or friends to be active with you.  
  • If you have a medical condition, discuss your plans for physical activity with a health professional before beginning an exercise program and seek a supervised program. 

3. Check your vision 

Regular eye exams are important to address vision problems, as poor vision can increase the risk of a fall.

  • Have your eyes tested each year by an optometrist.  
  • Reduce glare outdoors by wearing a hat or sunglasses and eliminate glare in your home by using light shades and curtains.  
  • Always keep glasses handy. 

4. Check your medication 

Taking multiple medications is linked to falls – the greater the number of medications a person takes, the greater the risk of any adverse reaction from medication, including falls. Some drugs, such as sedatives, are more likely to increase the risk of falling.  

  • Ask about a medication review of all your medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for information and whether any of your medications will cause unsteadiness or other side effects.  
  • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist immediately if a medication is causing side effects, such as becoming unsteady, dizzy, confused, or drowsy, or if you have a fall. 
  • Avoid taking medication and alcohol together – alcohol can add to the risk of falling by affecting your alertness, judgement, physical coordination, and reaction time.  

5. Reduce your fear of falling 

Fear of falling or loss of confidence sometimes occurs after a fall. This can lead to a cycle of stopping activities, which in turn reduces muscle mass and strength.  

  • Become aware if you are afraid of falling and how it is affecting your everyday activities and mobility.  
  • Discuss your fear of falling with family members and health professionals to find ways to take appropriate steps toward fall prevention. 
  • Be prepared before a fall. If you live alone, a personal alarm or cordless telephone can give you greater confidence to stay active in and around the house.  

6. Use appropriate footwear 

Wearing footwear that does not fit properly or has worn soles may increase your risk for a fall. 
Foot problems such as ingrown toenails, fallen arches, misshapen toes, and decreased sensation with age and/or from diabetes can also contribute to falls.   

  • Wear walking shoes for daily activities.  
  • Make sure your shoes are firm and supportive around the heels and the instep of your feet. They should be flexible and have enough room around your toes.  
  • Choose footwear that offers good stability.  

7. Keep good nutrition habits 

As you get older, it is particularly important to maintain strong bones and muscles.  

  • Eat a variety of nutritious foods 
  • Tell your doctor if you experience reduced appetite or unexplained weight loss.  
  • If you are at risk for deficiency, seek advice from a dietician or your doctor about nutrition supplements.  

8. Manage your health 

Annual medical assessments are an important aspect of staying independent and ensuring ongoing evaluation and treatment of conditions that contribute to falls and fall-related injury.  

  • Have regular check-ups with your doctor to help prevent worsening of any condition you may have and to keep you as active as possible.  
  • Seek medical treatment if you feel unwell.  
  • Talk with a healthcare professional about incontinence. Loss of bladder or bowel control, frequency (going to the toilet often), and urgency (going in a rush) all increase the risk for a fall, especially at night.  

9. Do a Home Safety Checklist 

Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook but also easy to fix. Making changes in your home to prevent falls is beneficial both for you and your family members. Most falls resulting in significant injury occur within the home, most within the living room or bedroom.  

10. Check for hazards in the community  

Paying attention to our surroundings helps everyone to be safe in our communities.  

  • Always try to use footpaths if possible. Avoid damaged footpaths or rough ground with loose or uneven surfaces.  
  • Be aware of curbs, changing levels, and slopes, especially at entrances to buildings.  
  • Always be aware of bicycles, toys, pets, or other objects which may be in the way, especially when using a walker that blocks the view of the area in front of you.  
  • Allow yourself time to cross roads safely and use pedestrian crossings if available.  
  • If you use public transport, take your time. Keep one hand free to hold a rail and always look at the step. Ask the bus driver to wait until you are seated before taking off. 
  • Check the weather. Be extra careful walking on snow and ice or going outside in extreme heat. 

11. Get appropriate equipment 

Specialized home modifications (e.g., grab bars, walk-in showers) and assistive devices (e.g., reachers, raised toilets) play a significant role in reducing the risk of falls and helping older adults maintain their independence within their home.  

  • Occupational therapists can provide information about personal and environmental assessments to help make life easier and safer, as well as guidance on proper installation and use of equipment. 

How OT Can Help Prevent Falls 

Occupational Therapists can help you prevent falls and put into practice the 11 steps listed above. An OT can help you with advice, ideas, and equipment. OTs manage your underlying fall risk factors and optimize your home design and environment.  

Contact us 

If you or someone you know is at risk for falls, contact us today.  


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.   

Learn More: 

10 tips to deal with Driving Anxiety 

Many people avoid driving or being a passenger in a car because of Driving Anxiety. 

Driving anxiety is intense fear, phobia, or distress at the possibility of driving or being a passenger in a car. These feelings can also appear in specific situations, such as driving over a bridge, at night, during winter, or being a front-seat passenger. In many cases, people are afraid because they think that something bad can happen to them. 

Strategies to help 

The good news is that there are tips and strategies to help you manage your symptoms and fear of driving. Here are 10 tips to help you: 

1. Recognize signs of anxiety in yourself 

Signs of driving anxiety include:   

  • Stopping the activity (e.g., you’ve ceased driving)   
  • Physical reactions (e.g., sweating, headaches, chest pains, dry throat, etc.)   
  • Plan driving routes that are very elaborate and longer than necessary, to avoid certain roads  

2. Recognize what specifically triggers your anxiety (e.g., certain intersections, loud sirens, car screeching)  

3. Plan your trip in advance: 

  • Know what route you will take 
  • Anticipate what challenges might arise and be prepared to deal with them 

4. Avoid black and white, or absolutist, thinking.   

  • Being in a car does not mean you will be in an accident  
  • Accept that there are always risks with driving; cut those risks by driving responsibly (be alert, know your own limitations, don’t drink and drive, etc.)   

5. Realistic thinking  

It is important for your mind to stay focused on the task of driving and that your internal thoughts are positive and helpful for the goal of returning to driving. You can use Calming/Realistic Thinking anytime that you notice worry or doubt thoughts coming into your mind. When you recognize a worry or doubt thought, counter that thought. Here are some sample questions you can counter the thought with to help your thinking be more calm or realistic:  

  • Would most people agree with this thought? If not, what would most people think?  
  • What would I say to a friend if a friend was in a similar situation?  
  • What will happen if I continue to think this way?  
  • What is a more encouraging or useful way of thinking?  

6. Learn to reduce your tension when at the wheel.   

  • Relax before, during, and after you drive  
  • When you are aware of yourself becoming tense, engage in the stress reduction management strategies that work best for you, such as playing music and breathing techniques  

7. Return to driving in a graduated fashion 

  • Start small and slow   
  • Gradually increase the driving time (duration), frequency, and environmental stimulus (how busy the streets are)  

8. Use affirmations to confirm that you’re doing the right thing while driving.   

Reassure yourself that you are ok! Such as:   

  • I am driving carefully and within the speed limit. Careful driving is safe driving.  
  • Driving is a common, everyday activity. I am an alert driver participating in a common activity with care.  
  • I do not have to drive fast, I can drive in the right-hand lane if I want to travel slower than other cars.  
  • I have power and control over what happens to me. 

9. “Safety Sack” 

Prepare a bag or collection of objects that make you feel safe. This “sack” is something that you can then carry around with you when you travel in a vehicle to help you feel safe wherever you go. 

10. Seek professional help 

Seeing a counsellor, psychologist or Occupational Therapist might be helpful to manage your driving anxiety.  

An OT can help 

Together, you and your OT can identify triggers, develop calming techniques, create checklists and prompts, and develop a gradual plan to resume this important activity.  Your OT can also help you practice driving – they can ride as a passenger in your car while you practice your strategies and build up confidence as a driver. 

Occupational Therapists at OT Works! have experience with driving desensitization and can help you overcome your driving anxiety and get back to being a successful driver or passenger.  

Contact us  

If you or someone you know is looking for support with driving anxiety, contact us today.   


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.   

Meet Jessica Irish: Occupational Therapist

Welcome Jessica Irish to the OT Works! team.    

Jessica has many years of experience helping clients who experience a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges in daily life.  

Jessica serves clients in the Metro Vancouver area, including Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, North & West Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, White Rock, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Langley, Fort Langley, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. She works with WorkSafeBC, ICBC, and private paying clients, as well as those with extended health/disability insurance.  

She earned her Master of Occupational Therapy from the University of British Columbia (UBC). Jessica brings meaningful and relevant clinical experience to her work as an Occupational Therapist and provides high quality and authentic care to clients. Jessica conducts her work using strong clinical reasoning, excellent communication skills, and a fundamental respect and care for both her clients and colleagues.  She loves being an OT because she can empower others to engage in activities that are meaningful and important to them and their communities. 

Jessica has taken courses and certifications in cognitive rehabilitation and concussion management.  

Like all our therapists at OT Works!, Jessica is registered and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).     

Get Started with an OT

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!   


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.