As we age, the risk of falling at home can increase for different reasons. Deferred maintenance on the house, cluttered walkways, and prescribed medications are just a few examples. Medications, in particular, are supposed to keep seniors safe and healthy. This post discusses what a study conducted over many years found looking at seniors and prescription medication, and what you can do to help lower risks of falls at home.

Medications That Increase Fall Risk

The University of Buffalo studied the relationship between prescription drugs and falls between 1999 and 2017. The study found that by 2017, 94% of seniors were prescribed medications that increased their fall risk, compared to 56% in 1999. This increase leads to twice as many fall-related deaths and also fall-related injuries, which cost $50 billion in medical costs each year. Types of medications found to increase falls include:

  • High blood pressure medication
  • Diabetes medications
  • Cough, cold, and allergy medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Opioids
  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Anticonvulsants

High blood pressure and antidepressants meds were the most filled medicines.  Fall-inducing medications were more likely prescribed to women than men.

Tips for Fall Prevention

Talk with your doctor about your fall history and ask questions about the medication to make sure your medicines don’t increase fall risk. If you need to be on a medication that does increase it, ask if it is possible to be on the lowest dose. Ask them to review current medications as well to prevent problems.

Avoid using the bathroom frequently by taking water pills that were prescribed for you. Use caution when trying to stand up because falls occur if it happens too fast. Find exercise programs that focus on leg strengthening and balance, or do home exercise program exercises prescribed for you often.

In addition to following these tips, consider hiring a caregiver. It’s always a good idea to have another person’s assistance. Seniors in Newport Beach and Orange County, CA can reach out to Optimal Senior Care Solutions. Our staff of home care experts will be happy to find a caregiver to meet your needs.