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Fear of Falling
Preventing Falls and Fear

By Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, APRN-BC, GNP, APNP

(Page 2 of 2)

The last category for risk reduction is medication awareness. As we age, we are at risk of taking many medications for many ailments prescribed by many providers; a situation known as polypharmacy. There is much research and increasing awareness of the potentially hazardous effects of polypharmacy. It is well documented that the more medications an individual takes, the greater their risk of side-effects, drug interactions, and falls. Certain medications are particularly dangerous. Anti-anxiety medications like Valium, Xanax and Ativan; sleeping pills like Ambien, Restoril, and even Tylenol PM have been implicated in increasing fall risk. Discuss your loved one’s medication regimen with the prescriber and focus on reducing or eliminating those drugs that increase the risk of falling. Should your loved one require extended care somewhere other than home, be sure to ask what their fall reduction program has to offer.

Fear of falling is a very real phenomenon that is as important to reduce as the physical consequences of a fall. Both can be life changing and demand our attention to reduce the likelihood of a fall occurring.



Sharon Roth Maguire MS, APRN-BC, GNP, APNP is the Senior Director for Healthcare and Resident Services at Alterra Health Care Corporation and a Clinical Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Marquette University College of Nursing in Milwaukee, WI.


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