October 21st is Check Your Meds Day

It’s not shocking that prescribed drug use among the older population has increased in the past decades. The majority of people aged 55 and older take at least one prescription. A big motivation to check your medication labels for expiration dates, refill notifications and side effects and possible drug interaction precautions are fall prevention. Did you know that forgotten medications or drug interactions can lead to an increased risk of falling? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 15 seconds an older adult is treated in a hospital E.R. for injuries related to a fall. Although injuries from falls may not be noticeable at first, many seniors are on meds with blood thinners that increase internal bleeding post-fall. This is scary because if symptoms aren’t visible a fall could lead to death. The good news is that a majority of falls result in minor injuries, such as bruises and superficial injuries, and require no medical attention or are fully treated in the primary care setting.

Most seniors’ falls happen because of a loss of balance due to not using their walker or assistive device, impaired vision or medication. Caregivers can reduce the injury and falls for clients that are at risk or who have fallen in the past resulting in the reduction of falls and improve safety and independent living at home. Caretakers can reduce fall risks in their aging Boomers by encouraging exercise, properly supervising and making the home environment as safe as possible, and tracking meds. If a new medication is introduced into the regiment, pay particular attention to your Boomer and note any particular side effects, then bring those up ASAP to the doctor.