OTAGO Fall Prevention:
It’s About Living Life


Improving balance and strength is more than just preventing falls, it’s about being able to stay active, productive, and live life. You already know that falls have a terrible impact on the lives of seniors, but did you know that falls are not a normal part of aging? Recent research has shown that, when integrated as part of a fall prevention program, the OTAGO exercise program can reduce the incidence of falls up to 40%! It’s not just for frail elderly, it’s for any older person that wants to remain active and avoid the negative impacts of balance problems as much as possible.

The OTAGO program is a progressive series of exercises designed to be provided by a physical therapist in the home setting. It consists of strengthening, stretching, and balance exercises, as well as a walking component. It is one of the best current solutions for proactive fall prevention, whether you have already experienced a fall or not.

Take action today to stay active, independent, and living life as long as possible.

Not from our part of town?

We provide OTAGO in the Chatham, Orange, Durham, and Buncombe areas. If you are somewhere else, however, you can still find physical therapists that provide OTAGO fall prevention programs by searching the Carolina Geriatrics Education Center database.



  • It is provided in the patient’s home setting
  • A physical therapist administers and progresses the program
  • It continues for 6-8 visits over the course of a year
  • It bridges the gap between traditional Home Health services and community based, group exercise programs
  • It is evidence (research) based
  • It is covered by insurance


Every 20 minutes a senior dies as the result of a fall, making it the leading cause of injury related deaths among older adults.


OTAGO was specifically designed for community dwelling older adults who are able to ambulate independently with or without an assistive device in the household.


Although the OTAGO program is a series of standardized exercises, a physical therapist is necessary to properly assess the patient, adapt the program for any injuries or chronic conditions, and progress the program appropriately to remain challenging, yet safe.
In addition, the physical therapist is able to address other concerns, such as home safety for fall prevention, assistive device use, and many other factors to address all of the patient’s unique symptoms, mobility, strength, and range of motion issues.


In order to have a long term impact on fall reduction, it is necessary to evaluate multiple aspects of the patient’s daily life to answer important questions, such as:
1. Can the patient safely and independently complete their exercise program at home, or is specific modification or instruction needed to ensure follow through?
2. Are there other elements of the home setting that increase the patient’s risk of falling that can be corrected?
3. Are there caregivers or family that would benefit from being involved in the patient’s exercise program?
In addition, it is often safer and more convenient for the therapist to travel to the patient rather than coordinating transportation for the patient. This, in turn, improves follow through with physical therapy and, ultimately, greatly improves outcomes.


Over the course of 4 trials and 1,016 patients aged 65-97 who were at high fall risk, OTAGO reduced the chance of falling by 35-40%! It even resulted in continued balance and strength gains at 6 months after treatment ended!


Medicare part B, as well as other insurances, cover these services provided at the patient’s home. Supplemental insurers follow what Medicare reimburses. We have not had any issues with insurance payments for these visits and the patients and family have been deeply grateful that someone actually follows up to ensure follow through and continued independence at home.

Are you appropriate for OTAGO?

You may be appropriate for OTAGO if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions.

  • Have you fallen in the past year?
  • Do you feel unsteady when walking?
  • Are you fearful of falling?

Less than half of those who fall talk with a healthcare provider about it 🙁 If you know someone who appears at risk for a fall, let them know that help is available!


Fall Prevention

We provide the latest in fall-prevention treatment including the OTAGO fall prevention program.

General Rehab

Avoid driving to a clinic and get the individualized care you deserve. We work with many conditions ranging from post-stroke, Parkinson’s to rotator cuff dysfunction and much more. Contact us for details.

After Home Health

We can improve care continuity by providing in home therapy even after you have been discharged by a Home Health agency. Avoid the hassle of driving and continue to make progress towards your goals.


Joshua Cohen PT, MS

is originally from Illinois and a graduate of Northern Illinois University as well as UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in PT and an MS in Human Movement Science. He is a fall prevention specialist and also provides general physical therapy as well as vestibular rehab. He serves the Pittsboro area.

Jennifer Lias MS, PT, OCS

is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has degrees in Exercise Physiology, Health and Rehab Science, and Physical Therapy. She also specializes in vestibular rehab and continues to teach college level courses as well. She serves the Asheville region.

Jennifer Harrison DPT

is a graduate of Elon University and has additional experience with back pain treatment, vestibular rehabilitation, and pelvic floor therapy. She serves the Clayton area.

Debra Bishop DPT

is a graduate of Slippery Rock University and has additional experience with fall prevention, resistance training, balance, and geriatric physical therapy. She serves the Cary area.

Kelly Swimm DPT

is a graduate of the University of Scranton and is certified in OTAGO fall prevention and has a wide array of geriatric PT experience. She serves the Chapel Hill, Pittsboro and Durham areas.

Kimberly Agatucci PT

is a graduate of University of Illinois – Chicago and has extensive experience in various therapy settings. She serves the Chapel Hill and Durham areas.

Charron Andrews PT

is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and specializes in Parkinson’s, fall prevention, and general geriatric therapy. She serves the Carrboro and Chapel Hill areas.


The therapist from Mobile Rehab has been fantastic and very helpful to me. She clearly is the best PT I have ever had.Laureen F of Chapel Hill
The physical therapist came to our house and carefully reviewed our case. He designed therapies and strategies that have worked well for us. For example, my husband could not get off the floor by himself and I could not lift him when he fell. Together we learned techniques to cope with this situation in our home. Joshua designed fun and effective exercises to improve strength and flexibility. My husband can now get in and out of chairs and cars without help and walks more easily. Since we used equipment in and around the home, my husband can remember and apply what he has learned. Mobile Rehab accepted our insurance and worked out approval to provide services. We did not need a referral from our doctor.

My husband and I highly recommend Mobile Rehab if you or a loved one needs physicalJerry from Pittsboro

I wanted to tell you how much better I think Mom is since starting your PT. She has been less off balance, quicker to equilibrate to standing, and has had more stamina. I also think she is less depressed and feels more accomplished. Josh has been prompt and polite, as well as engaging in conversation to make Mom feel at ease. Thank you!Karen Pool - Google Review

Kelly evaluated me and made some helpful suggestions. I look forward to working with her and improving my balance and muscle strength. Rita - Google Review



And many other private and supplemental insurances.


We file all insurance paperwork on behalf of the patient.


  • Contact Us by Phone, Email, or Fax

    We’ll help you check your insurance benefits. You do not need to be homebound and you should not be currently receiving any other physical therapy or skilled nursing services in the home.

  • Schedule an Evaluation

    Your therapist will contact you to plan a date, time and location that works best for you.

  • It’s That Easy!

    We make it simple to get the care you need… and exceed your expectations while doing so.


  • (919) 636-2423
  • info@mobilerehabnc.com
  • (919) 516-0690
  • 229 Fearrington Post, Pittsboro, NC 27312

Want to refer a patient?

You can use your standard prescription form, or print and fax this handy one we made.