COT SS - Older People

We are a dedicated Specialist Section of occupational therapy staff that is passionate about older peoples’ independence, well-being and choice.

We provide professional and clinical information on all aspects of occupational therapy practice related to older people. We have a responsibility to keep abreast of relevant professional, practice, policy and legislative developments and issues. Our members include occupational therapy staff from both physical and mental health services for older people.
Find out more about joining us by becoming a member, our research and development work and grants, and our Clinical Forums below.
Join COT SS Older People

Clinical Forums

COT Specialist Section - Older People Clinical Forums aim to encourage evidence based practice and provide guidance on occupational therapy intervention in the areas of:

In these sections you will find information about the forums' activities, achievements and contact information.

Fallcheck Application

Introducing the first app relating the falls featured on the NHS Health Apps Website. All apps on the NHS Health Apps Website have been reviewed by clinicians to ensure that they are safe and meet data protection laws and guidelines.
FALLCHECK is an app to help prevent falls in the home. Based on information from occupational therapists and falls experts in the United Kingdom, the app gives a comprehensive guide to alert you to potential falls hazards that might be present in your own or a relative's home. Information on home to reduce the risk to help prevent falls is provided by the app. When you start the FALLCHECK app, you will be presented with a menu displaying the layout of the house and outside space. Each area has several potential hazards within it, simply tap on the picture of the hazard and it will be described. If the hazard is present in the home you are considering, simply tap 'add to checklist'. Once you have located the hazards, go to the personalised CHECKLIST created from your responses. This will give you information on how to reduce or remove the hazards in the home that may cause a fall. When you exit the app your checklist is saved so you can look at it again. Some hazards can be reduced by using technology or gadgets to help.
Links are given to example products where they may be bought. It's worth shopping around though for the best price. Sometimes you might need more help or advice and links are given to organisations that can help you further. Links to third party websites will open in a new browser window/tab. To return to the app please close the opened browser window/tab. There are no differences between platforms.

Dr Gill Ward, Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research, Coventry University and R&D lead for COTSSOP.


Specialist Section Older People National Executive Committee Vacancies 

We have some wonderful opportunities for those members of the specialist section who would like to become more involved at a national level. You will form part of a specialist group, who are able to share clinical experience and expertise, network with others, lead discussion and influence national policy.
Roles we currently have available are:
Vice Chair
Should you require further information about the roles, job descriptions or would like to register your interest, please contact our Acting Chair - Cynthia Murphy at:

New! 2016/17 COTSS-Older People £1000 Research Award available

Closing date for applications: 4pm 3rd January 2017 

The College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section-Older People (COTSS-OP) is pleased to offer an annual research grant to its members.
£1,000 per annum is available (Closing date 4pm, 3rd January 2017).
The grant can be used to:

  • Support research activity in a topic relevant to older people
  • Support research undertaken as part of an educational post registration programme that relates to older people

Please download the guidelines and application form. If you have any questions please email Dr. Gillian Ward COTSS - Older People R&D lead:


Key national guidelines, standards and documents that guide/influence occupational therapy care of older people 

To assist members, the COTSS-OP National Executive Committee have prepared a list of the key national guidelines, standards and documents that guide/influence occupational therapy care of older people.
Please remember this is not an exhaustive list. Please inform Dr Gill Ward if you think we have missed any important documents.


Reducing the pressure on hospitals in England: The value of occupational therapy

Report launched at the Houses of Parliament on 16 November 2016 at 13.00:

Sarah Montgomery Communications Officer, attended the event as an expert practitioner working in Emergency Care to promote the role of Occupational Therapy in this important and exciting area.

Social Media

Follow us and join in the conversations at @COTSS_OP

  • Members please follow us and contribute to discussion or sharing of key messages. You will often find snippets of learning from the various conferences and learning events attended by members of the section. We would welcome specialist section older people members to join us with this practice.
  • COTSS OP Twitterstream

  • Membership Involvement & Members only benefits

    There are many ways in which members can become involved in the specialist section, if you are a specialist section older people member and have not been receiving regular emails, please check your email contact with Selvin Ennis: and to which forums you have signed up for.

  • Opportunities are provided for you to contribute in the following ways:

    Article Link What CPD opportunities are available through membership of COTSSOP FAQs

  • Consultations - As stakeholders SSOP members were asked to contribute to Falls Guideline, Delirium Quality Standards, Splinting Guidelines to name a few.
  • Research - Benchmarking exercises and surveys regularly sent out by your peers seeking your knowledge & expertise, abstracts and articles regularly posted on the webpages and placed within the newsletter.
  • Newsletter - Members are frequently invited to place articles in the newsletter, which is sent only to COTSSOP members three times per year i.e. reflections from study day events/conferences or introducing your service or national targets.
    Article link: Newsletter Article Guidance
  • Book Review - We regularly receive and can request texts specific to the needs of older people and invite members to review a text, if you have opted to become a book reviewer you will have the opportunity to choose a text, your review is placed in the newsletter and a copy passed onto the publishers for their use.
    Article link: Book Review Guidelines for COTSSOP
  • Publications - Updates on Publications for you to read are posted on the websites, shared in emails and newsletters.
  • Discussion Forum - available to members to share knowledge, expertise or pose problems - take a moment to review prior posts, perhaps this is something you could read or contribute towards. E-Journal Club - Led by the intermediate care forum, please check their forum webpage for details of the next article and deadlines.
  • Social Media - Follow us on twitter: @COTSS_OP

Updated 30th November 2016



COT endorses first NICE social care quality standard on dementia

Thu, 18/04/2013 - 09:24
The College of Occupational Therapists has endorsed Supporting People with Dementia to Live Well, the first quality standard for social care published by the recently-renamed National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The new quality standard reflects NICE’s new responsibility to produce guidance and standards for the social care sector, as set out by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. ... Read more

Health and Social Care Services Must Adapt to Meet Older People’s Urgent Care Needs

Fri, 08/03/2013 - 15:54
Health and social care services must adapt to meet the... Read more

Successful lobbying for reablement services puts pressure on Welsh Government

Thu, 13/12/2012 - 17:31
The College of Occupational Therapists has strongly... Read more

Activity Matters: new e-learning resource on activity for older people

Wed, 22/08/2012 - 10:06
Activity Matters, an e-learning resource that provides... Read more

COT promotes reablement live on BBC Radio Wales

Thu, 16/08/2012 - 14:40
Ruth Crowder, COT's policy officer for Wales, took the... Read more