What can I do to help  prevent falls?

Checking Your Medications

All medications including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural health products, should be reviewed at least once a year by a qualified healthcare professional. This is especially important since the way medications are handled by the body can change as we age. In addition, some drugs alone or in combination with other ones can increase the risk of falling.

 

The good news is that family physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists are readily available to assist you with this essential process. 

Did You Know?

  • Certain types of medications are associated with a higher risk of falling

  • Almost two-thirds of older adults use five or more classes of prescription drugs for multiple chronic conditions

  • On average, female older adults are prescribed slightly more drugs than males

  • A medication review can:

    • Improve your knowledge of the medications you are taking​

    • Enhance the potential benefits associated with your medications

    • Reduce the potential risks associated with your medications

Safe Use of Medication

Medications can help us live longer and healthier. However, taking them the wrong way or mixing certain drugs can be dangerous.

It's always a good idea to take some time to check your medications to clearly understand why you need to take them regularly and how to take them safely. It is also important to take steps such as safely storing your medication and keeping track of possible side effects to help avoid potential problems.

For more information about simple safety measures you can take, please click on the available Check your medications information sheet.

Consulting Your Primary Care Provider

It is recommended that all adults 65 years and older be screened at least annually by their primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner) to help identify and address their risk of falling.

 

Since taking certain medications can increase your risk for falls, you should be ready to answer questions your provider may have about them during your visit. This is why it is recommended that you keep a current medication list in your wallet or that you bring all of your medications in a bag to show to your primary care provider. This is especially pertinent if you are taking multiple medications.

If you do not currently have a provider, you are encouraged to register with Patient Connect NB. Once registered online or via Tele-Care 811, you will be assigned to a provider on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about online registration, please click on the following link.

Pharmacists are medication experts who have the most in-depth knowledge of drug therapies compared to all other healthcare professionals. In addition to being able to complete a comprehensive review of your medications, pharmacists can deliver a wide range of services such as giving flu shots, providing compliance pack medications for people who find it difficult to manage their medications and giving advise on cough syrup, vitamins and over the counter medications.

For a list of available pharmacies near you, please click on the following link.

Older adults covered under the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program who take three or more prescriptions for chronic conditions are eligible to have a publicly-funded, annual medication review with their pharmacist as part of the NB PharmaCheck Program.

To determine if you qualify for this program, please print and complete the Am I Getting the Most from my Medication? self-screening tool before contacting your local pharmacist.

If you qualify for this program, please print and complete the My Medication Check-Up form. On the day of your scheduled appointment, remember to bring all of your medications with you along with a completed copy of the      My Medication Check-Up form and the Am I Getting the Most from my Medication? self-screening tool.

Resources

 

  • Check Your Medications

    • Developed by ​NB Trauma and the Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research

  • Patient Connect NB - Online Registration

    • Developed by Service New Brunswick​ and NB Dept. of Health

  • Find a Pharmacy

    • Developed by the NB Pharmacists' Association

  • Am I Getting the Most from my Medication?

    • Developed by NB Pharmacists' Association and NB Dept. of Health​

  • My Medication Check-Up

    • Developed by NB Pharmacists' Association and NB Dept. of Health​

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The information contained on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your primary care provider or a qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition, or before beginning any exercise program.

Toll-Free Seniors Information Line 

 

The toll-free Seniors Information Line provides a traditional method of speaking with a bilingual, customer-service oriented telephone agent. For basic information about provincial programs and services for older adults, their family and caregivers please contact:

1-855-550-0552

Tele-Care 

 

If you or someone you know requires non-urgent health advice or information, call Tele-Care. A registered nurse will assess your needs and provide information, education and/or advice as required. For access to this confidential and bilingual toll-free telephone service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week please dial:

8-1-1

For medical emergencies, call  911  immediately or visit your local emergency department.

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