There are many things that can increase a senior’s risk of falling and one of the most common but often overlooked is the role of medications.
Seniors and their caregivers need to be aware of the medications that can put them at risk for falls.
In this article, I will discuss the role of medications in increasing the risk of falling among seniors and provide some tips on how to stay safe while taking medications.
There are many risk factors for falling among seniors, but they can be all classified under two distinct categories:
Extrinsic or external risk factors are the reasons for falling that are outside of one’s self. Extrinsic risk factors for falling may include:
In an article I recently wrote, I explained how extrinsic risk factors are easy to modify but if left uncorrected accounts for 30-50% of falls among seniors!
Intrinsic or internal risk factors are the reasons for falling that can be attributed to your own body.
Intrinsic risk factors for falling may include:
Intrinsic factors are relatively harder to modify or correct compared to extrinsic reasons for falling.
Certain types of medication are more likely to cause problems with balance and coordination, which can lead to falls.
Medications for high blood pressure, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and depression are all examples of drugs that can increase the risk of falling.
In addition, some pain medications and sleeping aids can also cause seniors to feel dizzy or drowsy, making falls more likely.
As a result, it is important for seniors to be aware of the potential risks associated with their medication and to avoid activities that could put them at risk for a fall.
As we age, our bodies become less able to regulate our blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to dizziness and an increased risk of falling.
Medications can also have side effects that contribute to falls, such as drowsiness, impaired balance, and blurred vision.
To decrease your risk of falling, I recommend these next steps:
By taking these steps, you can decrease your risk of falling by as much as 30-50%!
What about you? Were there medications you previously took that affected your balance? How did you notice this effect on you? What did you do to minimize their impact? How did your healthcare provider assist you?
Tags Healthy Aging