Campus News

Pharmacy school works to reduce falls among WNY seniors

A pharmacy student speaks with a community member during the fall risk assessment and bone density screening that was held by the Pharmacy School's medication therapy management clinic program.

Pharmacy student Renae Gozelski talks with a client at the medication therapy management clinic program at the Gloria Parks Community Center.

By MARCENE ROBINSON

Published October 4, 2018

Students from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences recently provided Buffalo-area seniors with fall risk assessments and bone density screenings through the school’s medication therapy management clinic program.

The clinic, held at Gloria Parks Community Center in Buffalo on Sept. 27, offered balance and strength assessments, and assessments of medications’ risk of increasing falls. Students also performed bone density screenings to identify participants at risk for osteoporosis or osteopenia.

The event was organized during Fall Prevention Awareness Week — Sept. 22-28 — which works to raise awareness on how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.

Each year, 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for injuries due to falls, which often result in head injury or hip fracture. Falls and unintentional injuries are also the seventh-leading cause of death among seniors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The program was led under the supervision of Robert Wahler, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Upon completion of the program, participants received personal medication records, ultrasound scan results, individualized action plans and a fall risk report card that can be shared with primary care physicians. The report card identifies drugs that are associated with falls and offers solutions to reduce risk. 

The program also allowed UB pharmacy students to gain experiential education and earn medication therapy management certification.

The event is part of the Falls Prevention Seminar Series organized by the Erie County Falls Prevention Coalition. The coalition is made up of representatives from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Erie County Medical Center, Matter of Balance program, Touching Hearts at Home, Erie County Senior Services, Catholic Health System, Wellness Institute, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, Independent Health, Kaleida Health and Elder Care of WNY.

READER COMMENT

WOW! I did not know that falls ranked so high as one of the leading causes of death. It is really assuring that UB is taking time to assist the elderly with knowledge of this, falls being so troublesome, along with providing fall prevention skills and assessments. Efforts very much commended.

Jermaine Howard