Hoping to reduce the number of falls among older adults, the Ohio Department of Aging and Ohio Pharmacists Association are teaming up to review seniors’ medications.

The reviews will be offered for free Sunday through April 7.

Certain types of medications and drug combinations can cause dizziness, drowsiness and confusion, and could contribute to a life-changing fall in older adults.

The confidential reviews will be held at more than 400 pharmacy locations across the state.

Customers will receive a list of their potentially problem medicines to take to their health care professionals so they can discuss risks and appropriate treatment options.

Participating pharmacies include all 249 Ohio Walgreens Pharmacy locations, over 100 Kroger Pharmacy locations (including both in Findlay and the one in Fostoria), and select Discount Drug Mart Pharmacy, Fruth Pharmacy, NEON Health Center Pharmacy, Rite Aid Pharmacy and Shriver’s Pharmacy locations, as well as other local pharmacies. Vancrest of Ada Skilled Nursing Facility will also host a review, presented by Ohio Northern University, Raabe College of Pharmacy.

The initiative is part of the Department of Aging’s STEADY U Ohio falls prevention initiative.

“One in three Ohioans over the age of 60 will experience a fall this year, and falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths among our elders,” said Beverley L. Laubert, interim director of the department. “Prevention starts by understanding the risks, and we thank our pharmacy partners for having this crucial conversation with their customers.”

“More than 50 percent of patients take their medicines incorrectly, resulting in approximately 10 percent of hospital admissions,” said pharmacist Ernest Boyd, executive director of the Ohio Pharmacists Association. “Be sure your pharmacist regularly reviews your medication with you. Whenever you get a new prescription, ask the pharmacist how to take it and about side effects, drug interactions and other important information. That conversation could help you avoid a fall and literally save your life.”

STEADY U Ohio also has recommendations for seniors on how to avoid falls. Among them is that, if the label says “may cause dizziness or drowsiness,” to ask about the best time to take it. In addition, talk to your doctor about changes to your eating habits (such as a low-fat or high-calcium diet), as well as how much caffeine and alcohol you consume, as these can affect how your medicines work.

STEADY U Ohio is a comprehensive falls prevention initiative led by Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Aging, supported by Ohio government and state business partners.

The complete schedule and list of participating pharmacies is at www.steadyu.ohio.gov.

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