Are Medications Impacting Your Mom’s Balance?

A study released by BMC Geriatrics found that 41% of the falls reported by 200 elderly patients were directly linked to their medications. Physical therapy services could assist with helping to prevent falls.

Physical Therapy Northport NY - Are Medications Impacting Your Mom's Balance?

Physical Therapy Northport NY – Are Medications Impacting Your Mom’s Balance?

What medications are often linked to side effects that cause falls?

  • Anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications)
  • Anticholinergics (stop involuntary muscle movements and tics)
  • Antidepressants (anxiety and depression medications)
  • Antihistamines (allergy medications)
  • Benzodiazepines (anxiety medications)
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Prescription pain relievers

When possible, it’s best to stop using a medication or switch to another option that causes fewer side effects. See if it’s okay for her to take her pills before bed, but make sure that she won’t still be dizzy if she wakes in the middle of the night. It’s not always possible to do this, however. If your mom can’t stop taking her medications, fall prevention is important.

Don’t Leave Her Alone

When your mom takes her medications, make sure she’s not alone when doing activities that increase her fall risk. When she is getting in and out of the shower, have someone with her to provide support and to make sure she’s safely on a shower seat while she showers.

While she gets dried off and dresses, someone should be with her. Your mom shouldn’t try to do things like go up and down the stairs with a hamper or laundry basket, and she needs to let others change light bulbs in lighting fixtures and batteries in smoke detectors.

Track when the side effects hit and when they ease a bit. During that time frame, your mom should sit down and take it easy. She could read until she’s feeling better. It’s also a good time to read the paper, watch a movie, or perform a favorite hobby like knitting or sketching.

Don’t Let Her Go for Walks on Her Own

When your mom goes for a walk, have someone with her for the company and to ensure she has support when walking on uneven ground or stepping over a curb or tree root. If there are loose dogs at neighbors’ houses, it’s important that neighbors know your mom is prone to falls and can’t have dogs jumping up to greet her. Get your mom a cane to use for support while walking.

Let Someone Else Drive

Your mom shouldn’t drive if she’s experiencing lightheadedness due to prescription medications. When she has errands to run or appointments with her doctors or therapists, make sure someone has the day off and can drive her. If that’s not possible, have caregivers accompanying her on appointment days and for shopping trips and errands.

Physical Therapy Helps With Fall Prevention

Physical therapy should be your next step in helping your mom avoid accidental falls. If she can’t switch to a medication with fewer side effects, she needs to work on her balance. Talk to her doctor about physical therapy to improve balance and prevent future falls.

Sources:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7106700
https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/steadi-factsheet-medslinkedtofalls-508.pdf

If you or a family member need to hire Physical Therapy Services in Northport NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!

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