More than 30% of adults over the age of 65 will fall at least once this year.
A combination of factors leads to an increased risk of falling as we age. These include loss of coordination, flexibility, balance, eyesight, cognitive skills and quick reflexes. Medication is also an often overlooked factor.
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications have side effects such as dizziness or dehydration that make declining agility even more hazardous. Antidepressants, pain medications, anti psychotics, and non-prescription medications that contain a sleep aid can be particularly problematic.
Medication-related falls can occur from:
- Side-effects from a single medication
- Combined side-effects of multiple prescriptions & over-the-counter supplements
- The medication reacting differently as weight or other health factors change
- Not taking a medication as prescribed, or at all
The key to preventing these occurrences is to properly administer and manage medications so they can do their job without being harmful. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Keep a detailed medication log
- list ALL prescription medications, vitamins & supplements
- know what every medication is for and their potential side effects
- write down when you experience any side-effects
- carry the medication log in your wallet
- share the log with anybody who prescribes you a new medication
- Talk to your doctor if you’ve experienced dizziness or an increase in trips or falls
- If you have trouble remembering to take your medications, or the proper dose, consider using a timed medication dispenser
- If possible, use a single pharmacy and develop a relationship with the staff
- Clean out your medicine cabinet regularly to dispense of expired or unnecessary medications