Falls and their Prevention: A Geriatric and Pharmacological Imperative

Originally presented on October 20, 2016

Bruce R. Troen, MD
Professor and Chief, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Co-Director - Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease of Western New York, and Director - Institute for Person Centered Care, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Buffalo

Michael R. Brodeur, PharmD, CGP, FASCP
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science

The overall management of falls risk and prevention of injuries can be enhanced by interdisciplinary collaboration among primary care providers (PCP), geriatricians, pharmacists and therapists. It is important for medical providers to address common conditions of aging such as diabetes and cerebrovascular disease, as well as changes in physical abilities that increase a person’s risk of falling. Understanding the role medication plays in falls sustained by aging adults and prioritizing efforts to “deprescribe” medications are also important for comprehensive falls management. This webcast will review who is at risk for falls, the injurious consequences of falls and how primary care physicians (PCPs) can screen for and mitigate these risks, as well as how pharmacists can play a role in recognizing and addressing risks from medication interactions. Experts in geriatric medicine and pharmacy practice will emphasize the benefits of an interdisciplinary, team-based, holistic approach to preventing falls.

Learning Objectives
After watching this webcast participants will be able to:

  • Define medical conditions and geriatric syndromes that predispose individuals to falls;
  • Describe the role primary/specialty medical care providers play in assessing the risks associated with falls; and
  • Identify the key role that pharmacists can play in addressing the impacts of medication use on risk for falls; and
  • Explain the benefits of an interdisciplinary, team-based, holistic approach to prevent falls.

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