What is the Otago Exercise Programme?

The Otago Exercise Programme (OEP) is an evidence based training programme. It is designed to reduce the risk of falling in adults over the age of 65. OEP also improves cognitive function and health-related quality of life, increases independence, and reduces mortality. The programme involves various components; warm-up and mobility exercises, strength, balance, flexibility, cool-down and walking exercises. Our physiotherapist is a qualified OEP leader and will assess each patient individually to advice whether one-on-one sessions or training in a group setting is most appropriate.

Who is the OEP intended for?

Any patient who is at risk of falling or has had history of falling will benefit from the OEP.

Why is the OEP important for older adults?

Falls contribute to 40% of all nursing home admissions and 10-15% of all visits to emergency departments due to hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries and upper limb injuries. In the United Kingdom, one hip fracture is reported every 10 minutes, a wrist fracture every 9 minutes and a vertebral fracture every 3 minutes. Moreover, poor muscle strength and deterioration in balance abilities constitute major risk factors for falling. Research shows that an exercise programme combining these two components and carried out at least 3 times per week is the most effective treatment method for reducing falls.

What is the structure of the OEP?

The home based exercise programme will involve structured home visits, telephone follow-ups, and regular monitoring through exercise and falls diaries.