Falls Awareness and Prevention 2011

On Friday, in honor of Fall Awareness and Prevention Day, I had the pleasure to step out of the office and visit with pharmacists away from the capital city. I spent sometime with MPA secretary Erica Hopkins-Wadlow and her coworkers at D&H Drugstore in Columbia. By the time I arrived, a little under an hour into their event, however, there were no assessments happening for Falls Awareness. I took this momentary lull in the day to sit down and speak with two of Erica’s student pharmacists who had given assessments earlier in the day.

The two students I met with were Adina Klima, a Fourth Year pharmacy student out of Creighton University in Omaha, she is a distance education student; and Greg Burle, a Fifth year pharmacy student attending the UMKC School of Pharmacy Columbia campus. Adina mentioned that the fall assessment given earlier in the day was more of an impromptu assessment and she went over ways to improve thins in the home, as well as exercising tips with the patient, who attended with her home care nurse.

Greg said despite being impromptu, it was still enjoyable, but not rushed because the woman had fallen previously, thus she was extremely willing to take advice from both him and Adina to ensure she knew how to better prevent falls in the future. Adina did mention, though, she wish there had been more time to go over the pamphlets that were available in greater detail.

An important note that I took away from my experience visiting the Falls Awareness site is that the event is an important one for any senior to attend.

Adina told me that a lot of the times people don’t know what can cause or pose a risk and it is important to educate people so they know for the future.

Greg added that falls are very serious for the elderly. On some occasions he’s heard that electronic medical alert bracelets actually don’t work correctly and patients will become stuck without anyway of getting help right away. The biggest he said is pharmacists usually see people on psychotropic medications and they don’t realize that they cause dizziness and mobility deterioration, which puts them at risk.

This was Greg’s second year at a type Falls Awareness event and Adina’s first year. One of the last things she said to me was that they understand that it’s hard to change things around your home as you age, you don’t want to, but you have to.

There are two remaining Falls Awareness and Prevention events registered through MPA happening next month. The first is on Oct. 14 at the Route 66 Senior Center in Eureka; the second is on Oct. 20 at Northside Senior Center in St. Louis. For more information on these events, click here.

Did you attend a Falls Awareness and Prevention event last week? Let us know what you thought of the event or send us your pictures! Leave us a comment below and start the conversation today!

Tweet with @TheMPA