The theme for this year’s April Falls Day is medications and fall prevention: Medicate Right to stay upright, and Blayney MPS has a host of activities planned to promote it.
Managing your medications is important for a number of reasons, one of them being to prevent falls. Some medications with, or without prescription, can make you dizzy or drowsy. This can predispose you to falling over.
Key messages for health staff, patients and people in the community have been developed by the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), NSW Falls Prevention Program to promote the safe use of medications.
Lorraine Lovitt, Leader of the Program, said the correct management of medications was just one key to averting a fall.
She said some medications, such as sleeping tablets, pain killers, high blood pressure medication, fluid tablets and some mood disorder medications (e.g, for depression) may increase a person’s fall risk.
“These can cause unwanted side-effects such as, drowsiness, dizziness, poor balance, frequent/urgent urination and changes to eyesight, such as blurry vision.”
“If you start taking a new medicine, change brands, take multiple medicines, or change your normal dose, you have an increased chance of experiencing the above side-effects. These can lead to a fall.
It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your medications, if you are concerned or experiencing any side-effects.”
Advice on how to manage medications:
- Have an up-to-date list of your medications. Carry it with you. It can speak for you.
- Don’t take anyone else’s prescribed medication
- Read medication labels in good light and follow the instructions carefully.
- Don’t use out-of-date medications. Return them to your pharmacist.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist regularly to review your medications, including any herbs or supplements (as they may react with your prescription medications).
- Ask your pharmacist about packaging your medications to help you manage them.
“A fall is serious can lead to long-term hospitalisation, loss of independence, the need for supported care and, in some cases, premature death,” Ms Lovitt said.
One in three people older than 65 have a fall each year, but falls can be prevented.
Local activities at the hospital include a BBQ, falls prevention information stand and Tai Chi demonstration at Blayney MPS on 9th April. An information stand will also be held at IGA on 10th April with Ta Chi, Pole walking and stepping on demonstration.
For more information on falls prevention visit www.cec.health.nsw.gov.au and click on the April Falls Day® 2014 link. For more information on activities in Blayney please contact Kathy Hillier on phone 6368 9000.
Media inquiries: Mike Peterson, Clinical Excellence Commission Ph: 0434 308 924