Portfolio Naples June/July 2017 - Page 70

EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO LIVE YOUNGER LONGER Partnering for Fall Prevention With Step Smart Collier Pharmaceutical Steps By: Jacob Peplow, PharmD. Pharmacy Manager, Walgreens North Naples District Keith Dameron, CEO H IGHLIGHTING S TEP S MART C OLLIER ’ S V ISION & M ISSION – C RITICAL TO S ENIORS Falls among Florida senior residents age 65 and older have become the lead- ing cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries. Nearly 1 in 3 seniors 65+ will have a fall every year. According to the Florida Health Department, 2,445 senior Floridians were fatally injured after falling plus an additional 50,730 seniors were hospitalized for non-fatal injuries related to falling in 2014 alone. Conse- quences of falling go beyond injuries and can include the fear of falling again or having to relocate out of their homes or a decrease in their overall independ- ence. Many of our residents living in southwest Florida believe that falling is a “normal part” of aging. However, one group of dedicated citizens has stepped up to challenge that belief. e group, Step Smart Collier (SSC), discovered there are “smart steps” sen- iors can and should take to lower the high rate of falls among this population. SSC is composed of concerned citizens, medical professionals, care givers, and other non-profit organizations dedicated to educating the public in Southwest Florida on the “smart steps” to take to limit the risk of falling. e “smart steps” proposed by Step Smart Collier are divided into three categories: behavioral, environmental and pharmaceutical. Walgreens and SSC have partnered in Collier County to help prevent seniors falling by focusing on the “pharmaceutical steps” that help minimize the risk. Like the SSC, pharmacists are dedicated to preventing falls in their everyday practice since falls related to medica- tions are a very real and prevalent issue for seniors. Wal- greens supports Step Smart Collier by providing licensed pharmacists to attend their free road shows, where they give advice on drug interactions and communicate with health care teams about any “high fall risk” medications. Drug use among senior citizens has increased in the past decades. People who are 65+ account for 12% of the U.S. population, but make up 34% of all prescription medica- tion users and 30% of all over-the-counter medication users. Consequently, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) may occur re- sulting in falls. Seniors are at an increased risk of developing an ADR (including falls) due to their social setting, using more than one medication and the physiological changes related to aging affecting how their body absorbs and elim- inates the medication. Your pharmacist and health care provider can help minimize or prevent falls in three ways: • Minimize and/or eliminate “fall-risk” inducing medications (both prescription and over-the-counter). • Prevent drug interactions which may lead to falls. • Steps to minimize falls and related injuries 68 PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE