Background Falls cost the NHS approximately £1.5billion per year. Up to one in three over the age of 65 fall each year (Age UK, 2010). Increasing ageing population will continue to exacerbate this. It has been predicted (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, 2015) that local investment to physiotherapy services could lead to 1283 fewer falls which can lead to approximately £2,121,757 cost savings for the locality. Collaborative working enabled two members of staff to be trained as Otago instructors. Otago, founded in New Zealand is an evidenced based programme looking at strength and balance exercises, which has shown to significantly reduce the risks of falls and injuries (Thomas, Mackintosh, Halbert, 2010).
Aims To deliver a 12-week Otago course for people with long term life limiting conditions, reduce the risk of falls, provide interactive exercises for balance and strengthening and gain peer support and improvements to mental health and wellbeing in the process.
Method A comprehensive supervised once a week programme plus home exercise programme was set up following the Otago principles. The patients received an informative theoretical session on falls prevention. Standardised objective measures including the timed up and go, sit to stand in 30 seconds, unsupported stand and tandem stand were taken before and after the 12 week course. Qualitative feedback was also gained through the local views on care questionnaire.
Results Ten patients were recruited and eight completed. Two patients had to stop the course due to various other commitments. 50% patients improved their sit to stands. 100% improved in the timed up and go. Tandem stand and unsupported stand was achieved by 100%.The subjective feedback was all very positive.
Conclusion The Otago course had a positive impact on patients over 12 weeks. This will likely lead to a reduction in any falls and subsequent costs on healthcare provision and increase in quality of life.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.