The Morning Pointe Foundation, with guest speakers Curt Bicknell, Pharm.D., president of Guardian Pharmacy, and Gayle Lee, RN, account manager and nurse educator with Guardian, recently presented a virtual seminar on the connection between senior medications and fall risk.
The presentation on May 9 was the latest in the Morning Pointe Foundation’s Caregiver Café series. These are free webinars providing education for seniors, their families and other caregivers.
The speakers discussed common risk factors for falls, preventable falls versus non-preventable ones, contributing factors, types of medications and their effect on fall risk and strategies for seniors to lower their fall risk.
Bicknell focused on how different classes of medications, such as antipsychotics, sedatives and antidepressants affect the body’s neurotransmitters and can sometimes have side effects such as confusion and dizziness. He laid out the recommendation when starting new medications, especially in these categories, to “start low and go slow,” taking the smallest dose and then increasing in small increments over time if needed.
“We want to be super vigilant when we first start or when there is a dose increase,” Bicknell said.
Lee’s portion of the presentation focused on tips for decreasing fall risk.
For example, when picking up a new prescription, “Ask the pharmacist or the doctor, ‘What do I need to look for in this medication? What are some of the side effects that I need to look for?’”
In addition, maintaining a safe environment, physical strength and needed vision and hearing interventions can help reduce seniors’ fall risk.
“If a fall does occur, it’s so important that you investigate at the time of that fall,” Lee added. “If you can pick up on some cues at that time, you might figure out the cause of that fall. For example, was there any water on the floor? Did they complain of dizziness? Look at their footwear. Were they wearing their glasses?”
At the end of the seminar, several registrants participated in a live question-and-answer session
The session is available to watch on the Morning Pointe Foundation website: https://morningpointe.com/caregiver-cafe/. The site also includes past webinars with expert speakers from around the Southeast.
Morning Pointe’s Caregiver Café wellness seminars connect experts on senior living and care with those experiencing the physical and mental effects of aging, or their families and loved ones.
The Morning Pointe Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Morning Pointe Senior Living founded by Tennessee-based senior healthcare entrepreneurs Greg A. Vital and J. Franklin Farrow. The 501(c)3 nonprofit public service organization was created in 2014 to provide caregiver support programs, sponsor educational awareness events, and fund clinical scholarships to advance the care of seniors throughout the Southeast.
Founded in 1997 by Tennessee healthcare entrepreneurs Greg Vital and Franklin Farrow, Morning Pointe Senior Living owns and operates 37 senior living, personal care and Alzheimer’s memory care communities in five southeastern states.