Step Up to Stop Falls featuring Otago
Therapy that strengthens independence
The risk of falling poses a major threat to the health and wellbeing of older adults. Physical therapy including the Otago Exercise Program focuses on preventing a first fall and addressing any deficits that may have led to a fall to prevent more from happening. Participating in physical therapy that focuses on fall risk mitigation can lead to fewer falls and hospitalizations and less fear of falling, which ultimately maximizes safety, mobility, confidence and independence.
What is Otago?
Named for New Zealand’s Otago region where it was first developed, adopted and approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Otago is a clinically proven therapy program designed to reduce risk of falling. Physical therapy that includes the Otago Exercise Program has standardized strengthening exercises, a walking program and balance activities. The program can be customized by an Otago-trained therapist to fit individual needs and can last up to 12 months.
Phasing in balance and strength: How Otago works
Using standardized assessments, Ageility therapists determine the factors influencing fall risk such as difficulty walking, changes in cognition, weakness or decreased flexibility. We then address any impairments such as pain or strength deficits before beginning the Otago program. Otago includes:
- A therapist-guided exercise protocol based on the resident’s needs that draws from a set of 5 warm-up exercises and 17 strength and balance exercises designed to reduce risk of falling
- A 3- to 4-week phase in which the resident continues with the exercise protocol on their own
- A therapy reassessment and adjustment of the treatment plan as needed, including any carryover components of the Otago Exercise Program
- A continuation phase in which the resident follows the protocol on their own for up to 12 months
Ageility also offers the option for program participants to work with fitness specialists to support accountability, exercise safety, and correct form to enhance program success.
Additionally, Ageility offers our Blended Balance Signature Fitness Program to build on gains made during Otago training.
Otago has been proven to reduce the risk of falling by 30–45% in older adults.
The results: Fewer falls, fewer hospitalizations, greater independence
By taking advantage of a program proven to reduce risk of falling, residents can feel more confident of their ability to safely stay in their homes and maintain their highest possible level of independence. Otago is part of Ageility’s comprehensive offering for fall prevention and balance enhancement.