Older adults are reminded to check their medicines, with Injury Matters program Stay On Your Feet®’s latest campaign, Check Your Medicines.
The Check Your Medicines campaign launched on 1 February 2019, focusing on the importance of good medication management as a strategy to reduce falls amongst older adults.
How do medicines impact falls risk?
As part of ageing, older adults may experience physiological changes which result in the need to begin taking medicines, and in some cases multiple medications. Getting older also increases the body’s responsiveness to the effects of medications and the side effects which they may cause.
Some medications, like sleeping tablets, can cause multiple side effects. Side effects of such medication, such as reduced mental alertness, blurred vision, dizziness and headaches can all be major contributing factors for falls.
Each year, one in three Australians over 65 have a fall, but falls are preventable. Managing your medicines plays an important role in reducing your risk.
Tips for Managing your Medicines to Prevent Falls
Simple things can make all the difference in falls prevention. Older adults are encouraged to:
- Speak to their GP or Pharmacist about a medicine review
- Keep track of their medications with an up to date list
- Speak to their GP or Pharmacist if experiencing side effects or are taking sleeping tablets.
- Before starting a new medicine, ask the Pharmacist to explain the benefits and what side effects to watch out for.
Get involved with the Check Your Medicines campaign
Check Your Medicines with Nancy, the new animation launched alongside the Check Your Medicines campaign, provides simple tips on how to reduce the risk of medicine-related falls through the characters Nancy and her pup, Bailey.
The Check Your Medicines campaign runs from 1 February – 30 April 2019. Campaign information and services are available our website, by signing up to the Falls Prevention eNews for health and community workers or the News and Views for older adults.
For health and community workers helping older adults to stay healthy and independent for longer, the campaign offers information and resources which promote simple, practical tips to promote the safe use of medicines.
To find out more, go to www.stayonyourfeet.com.au or call 1300 30 35 40.