Pharmacists’ tools to help prevent seniors’ falls

November 3, 2009

This week saw the province-wide launch of the second annual Seniors’ Falls Prevention Month campaign under the overall slogan "Finding Balance".  

An important component of the campaign is a website at www.findingbalancealberta.ca.

While the site provides information for the public, it is also a portal for all health care professionals interested in seniors’ falls prevention.  By clicking on "Practitioner Page," visitors have access to a range of information, contacts and tools.

Networking

The website is the home of the Alberta Seniors’ Falls Prevention Network. This is a free electronic network designed to link those interested in falls prevention. Monthly e-bulletins are sent out with information such as:

  • programs and resources,
  • recent research and
  • upcoming events/conferences.

The Network also offers quarterly teleconferences which are free to members. The online archive includes current and past bulletins, teleconference recordings, a list of educational opportunities, Alberta falls data and resources, and a link to Finding Balance. You can also click on "What’s in the literature?" to browse the collections of categorized article summaries that have appeared in past editions of Alberta Senior’s Falls Prevention Network Bulletins.

Tool Kit

A tool kit is housed on the site to make it easy for practitioners to locate falls prevention resources. The tool kit contains a variety of resources that professionals can use to promote seniors falls prevention. For instance, pharmacists interested in setting up a display or bone density clinic can visit the tool kit to locate ideas for interactive activities, posters, calcium intake calculators, and handouts for clients. Visitors will also find a clearinghouse of event ideas, resources for the public, and campaign information that can be used freely in their community.

Risk Assessment and Intervention

A third part of the practitioner page is a pair of interactive algorithms for falls risk assessment and intervention. A new algorithm – scheduled to go live in the middle of the month - provides resources for a variety of health care providers with the information and materials to support multi-factorial falls risk assessment and intervention.

For example, the guidelines provide a list of checks that should be included in a medication review as well as a list of medications associated with a higher risk of falling. It then provides information about appropriate intervention based on the assessed risks. There are links to tools for practitioners as well as take-away educational materials for seniors.

The algorithm was developed by a collaborative group of multidisciplinary professionals and will continue to grow and change as new information and resources are available. We always welcome feedback and contributions of resources from pharmacists and other health care professionals.

For more information about the campaign or for campaign materials contact the Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research at 780-492-6019 or acicr@ualberta.ca.

Originally published in the November 3, 2009, issue of The Link


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