Falls in elderly

Preventing Falls


Did you or your relative have a fall recently? Would you like to prevent future falls and injuries?

Or maybe you are worried about your balance?

Either way, we can help.

We provide physiotherapy intervention that aims to reduce the risk of falling.

We use several different ways to help patients and the OTAGO Rehabilitation is one of them


Systematic reviews by Sherrington and colleagues regarding exercise interventions to reduce falls reported the most effective programmes included a high balance challenge, used a higher dose of exercise (50 hours- roughly twice a week for six months) and did not include a walking programme.


Falls Prevention – OTAGO


The Otago Exercise Program (OEP) was developed to reduce falls in older persons.

The OEP consists of 17 strength and balance exercises and a walking program, performed three times a week by the older adult in the home, outpatient, or community setting.

Patients do exercises individually or in a group setting. Studies demonstrate OEP participants experience a 35 – 40% reduction in falls.

The program is most effective for frail older adults.  A physiotherapist (PT) assesses and prescribes the initial exercises.

The older adult does the exercises independently three times a week and completes a series of 4 visits with the PT, PT Assistant, or the appropriate provider over an 8-week period.


Fall Risk Assessment

The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test is a simple yet reliable test that we can use to assess patient’s mobility, gait, balance and risk of fall.

It is generally used in elderly persons but is also validated for other conditions such as:  Parkinson’s Disease, Hip Fracture, Alzheimer’s Disease, Knee Replacement, Hip Replacement, Huntington’s Disease.


Why do older people fall?

Most medications acting on the brain or on the circulation can lead to a fall. Antidepressants and antipsychotics are especially dangerous and can increase the risk of falling twofold. This was clearly shown in a study from 2017.

Eyesight, hearing, and reflexes deteriorate with age and might not be as sharp as when you were younger.

Such conditions as diabetes (especially uncontrolled), heart disease or problems with thyroid, nerves, feet or blood vessels may affect your balance.

Poor balance increases the risk of a fall. Your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments lose elasticity and flexibility; in consequence older people feel less mobile and not able to hold balance when tripping or slipping.

Consequences can be very serious.


Reactive Balance Training

OTAGO training can be very beneficial. All exercises and activities are anticipatory in nature so patients know exactly what to expect and can prepare themselves accordingly. 

In Reactive Balance Training there is, however, an element of surprise and this seems to stimulate and enhance patients balance better.

Would you like to find out more about Reactive Balance Training (RBT)? 

 Article by Physio-Pedia on RBT

Article by Physio-Network on RBT 

Useful links

Elderly Physiotherapy


Balance training

Shoulder, Hip and Knee Physiotherapy

Parkinsons & Dementia Physiotherapy


Walking Aids

External links

Where to get support – Southampton City Council

Elderly Slips and Falls Guide 

Broken hip

Hip fracture – what to do?

Timed Up and Go Test


Unit 3C at 3 Hursley Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2FW





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