The Role of Pharmacists in Preventing Falls among America’s Older Adults
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The Role of Pharmacists in Preventing Falls among America’s Older Adults

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  • Alternative Title:
    Front Public Health
  • Description:
    Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in people aged 65 years and older and can lead to significant costs, injuries, functional decline, and reduced quality of life. While certain medications are known to increase fall risk, medication use is a modifiable risk factor. Pharmacists have specialized training in medication management and can play an important role in fall prevention. Working in a patient-centered team-based approach, pharmacists can collaborate with the primary care providers to reduce fall risk. They can screen for fall risk, review and optimize medication therapy, recommend vitamin D, and educate patients and caregivers about ways to prevent falls. To help health-care providers implement fall prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative. Based on the established clinical guidelines, STEADI provides members of the health-care team, including pharmacists, with the tools and resources they need to manage their older patients' fall risk. These tools are being adapted to specifically advance the roles of pharmacists in reviewing medications, identifying those that increase fall risk, and communicating those risks with patients' primary care providers. Through a multidisciplinary approach, pharmacists along with other members of the health-care team can better meet the needs of America's growing older adult population and reduce falls.
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