Medication – A Modifiable Risk Factor for Falls – and the Role of Pharmacists in Falls Prevention

Target Audience that may benefit from participation in the activity: Pharmacists.
Skill level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: None

Falls are a devastating and costly, yet preventable, public health problem among older adults. Numerous factors are associated with an increased risk of falling and fall-related injuries, but none is as potentially preventable or reversible as medication use. This activity will summarize the research related to medications and falls and provide you with practical strategies that can be used to reduce falls risk for older adults living at home.

At the conclusion of this knowledge-based and application-based activity, the participants will be able to:

  1.  Identify medication classes and specific medications that increase the risk of falls among older adults and suggest alternative medications to reduce the occurrence of falls.
  2. List common side effects and adverse effects of medications, e.g., anticholinergic effects, that increase fall risk among older adults and describe what pharmacists can do to minimize these side effects/adverse effects in an effort to reduce falls risk.
  3. Describe why proper adherence to certain medications can decrease falls risk. 
  4.  Apply medication-related strategies from evidence-based research and falls preventions guidelines into practice in conjunction with other healthcare disciplines.
  5. Implement specific interventions and provide helpful advice related to medication use that can decrease falls risk for older adults living at home

Requirements for successful completion of the CPE activity and awarding of credit are a 75% passing grade on a post-test and completion of a course evaluation form. After successful completion of the activity, participants will be able to print their CE statement immediately.



Accreditation: The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This activity, UAN 203-999-09-056-H01-P, is approved for 1.0 contact hour. Release date: May 1, 2009.

This course is accessible on the Philips Lifeline Learning Center website at

Cannot say enough wonderful things about Right at Home. Right at Home was originally hired just to help with medications for my 83 year old father as he was alone in his home in Massachusetts while his four daughters live in Florida. As anyone that has an elderly loved one that lives out of state's hard to worry from afar. It was a great relief to know that Right at Home was checking on him and keeping in touch with us in Florida. The nurse was trustworthy, caring, kind and just fantastic in every way. Right at Home spent much time on the phone with us to help choose and get him into a rehab facility after he was sick last year, which I always felt was above and beyond. Just recently I was up in Massachusetts with my father because he had developed an infection. My dad refused to go to the hospital and the nurse from Right at Home stayed with us for an extra 4 hours or so until we could finally get the help my father desperately needed at the hospital. Again above and beyond. The Right at Home nurse was like an angel during this stressful time. Five stars is not enough to rate how much Right at Home helped us with our dad.

Mr. Heineman