When we hit the ripe age of 65, most of us are taking some type of medication or supplement daily. Whatever kind of medication or supplements you’re taking, it’s smart to know if and how they can affect your risk of falling. Here are a few questions on what you should ask your doctor regarding the medication and the falls risk.
What information should I know about this medication?
In order to reduce the risk of falling, it is vital to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor and or pharmacist.
Your doctor will be happy to answer your questions and help you create a plan to take all of your medication safely. You can jump-start your medication safety knowledge by asking these three questions:
Why is the medication being prescribed? How long will it be before the medicine starts working? What side effects should I be aware of?
Are there alternative options for this medication?
If you ever experience adverse side effects from a medication you are taking; your doctor may recommend a non-drug alternative. For example, if a prescription to aid you with sleep is causing you to become sleepy during the day, making you dizzy, and possibly increase your risk of falling, then your doctor may suggest for you to not nap during the day. Alternatively, to avoid caffeine in the afternoon; It’s also important to have a regular bedtime routine, and not looking at a tv or phone right before bed.
Is there an easy way to keep track of the medication I am taking?
Having an up-to-date list of all of your medication you are currently taking is an excellent way to start a discussion with your doctor or pharmacist about your risk of falling. On your list, do not forget things like patches, eye drops, or creams that a doctor has prescribed to you. Write down all of your over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements as well. Make sure you notate how much you take, and how often and when you take them. The name of the prescribing doctor and the health problem it treats can even be helpful. It’s a good idea to keep this list with you all of the time.
Just a few of the above questions can help you understand your medication better and help prevent a fall.