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Poison Prevention for Older Adults

Originally broadcast June 7, 2007

Gail Banach, MS, IDDE, MS, Ed, BA
Director of Education
Upstate New York Poison Center

Norma A. Barton, BS, CSPI
Certified Specialist in Poison Information
Ruth Lawrence Poison & Drug Info Center

Adults over 60 represented 16% of fatalities reported to poison centers in 2005.

People age 65 and older make up 12% of the population but account for 34 % of all prescription medication use and 30% of all over the counter medication use. Approximately 60% of older adults take their prescriptions improperly and 140,000 die each year as a result.


  • Increase utilization of Poison Centers by older adults, those care for older adults, or provide services to older adults
  • Decrease in the number, cost and severity of poisonings in NYS

Learning Objectives:

  • To increase awareness of Poison Centers as a resource for older adults in a poison emergency or for poison prevention information.
  • To increase awareness of risk factors for unintentional poisonings.
  • To identify specific practices related to the safe use of prescription and over the counter medications including medication management techniques.
  • To increase knowledge and practice of poison prevention strategies among
    older adults who care for young children.
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Last update: November 21, 2011


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