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How the Otago Exercise Programme prevents slips, trips and falls

Are a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist or Exercise Physiologist interested in doing more to reduce your client’s risk of falling?

If so, Stay On Your Feet® invites you to attend training in the delivery of the Otago Exercise Programme this month. As a health professional, delivering this evidence-based and effective exercise program is an excellent way that you can assist older adults to prevent slips, trips and falls.

How to become a trained instructor of the Otago Exercise Programme

Stay On Your Feet® and Community West are working in partnership to deliver:

An Introduction to the Otago Exercise Programme to Prevent Falls in Older Adults

This instructor training workshop will provide eligible attendees with the opportunity to learn about the practical implementation of the Otago Exercise Programme and to acquire the skills and confidence to deliver the program to clients in your clinical practise. You will also share your experience and knowledge in implementing exercise programs with older adults at risk of falls.

What will I learn at the instructor training workshop?

  • The principles of strength and balance training,
  • To clearly explain the rationale and benefits of the Otago Exercise Programme to older adults,
  • Assess participants and individually tailor the programme to meet variations in client physical capacity and health,
  • Ensure participants can perform exercises safely and confidently, with correct movement patterns,
  • Adapt the programme as necessary after participant has periods of illness,
  • Provide support and motivation to each participant.

You will also receive an Otago Exercise Programme to Prevent Falls activity booklet.

Workshop information

Date: Thursday 24 March 2016

Time: 9.00am – 2.00pm (registration at 8.45am)

Venue: Joondalup Reception Centre, 102 Boas Avenue, Joondalup 6027

Cost: $180 (including GST)

Light lunch and refreshments included.

Register here

Download the event flyer

Keep reading to find out more about the Otago Exercise Programme and an upcoming training opportunity.

The evidence

Previous research has found that poor strength and balance are risk factors for falls and injuries in older adults. The good thing is research has also found that strength and balance can be improved by specific exercises.

The Otago Exercise Programme is a set of leg muscle strengthening and balance retraining exercises designed specifically to prevent falls. It is individually prescribed and delivered by trained instructors.

Four controlled trials have been conducted in cities and towns across New Zealand, to assess whether the Otago Exercise Programme reduces falls and falls-related injuries in older adults living in the community. 1016 men and women aged between 65 and 97 years, were invited by the general practitioner to participate in the trials.

Fewer falls and injuries

Participation in the Otago Exercise Programme reduced the number of falls and number of falls-related injuries that older adults experienced by an average of 35% across the four trials. The programme was also more effective in older adults aged 80 years and above, particularly in reducing the number and severity of injuries experienced if they did fall.

Strength and balance improvements

Older adult’s strength and balance improved as a result of participating in the Otago Exercise Programme. These measures were assessed using the chair stand test and four-test balance scale.

Confidence to live life to the full

Participants also reported increased confidence in their ability to carry out their daily activities without having a fall. This is of particular importance as people who are afraid of falling may become physically inactive, resulting in further declines in muscle strength and balance. It may also increase their likelihood of becoming socially withdrawn and isolated, negatively impacting on their social and mental wellbeing.

With very few adverse events occurring over the course of the four trails the Otago Exercise Programme has been proven to be a safe, effective, practical and low-cost falls prevention strategy from which older adults can benefit from.

Stay On Your Feet® is provided by Injury Matters and funded by the Western Australian Department of Health.

Find out more
Government of Western Australia Department of Health Injury Matters