Release Date: September 21, 2016
BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo pharmacy and physical therapy students will travel across Western New York to improve the health of local older adults through the new Interprofessional Falls Risk Reduction Program.
On National Falls Prevention Day, Sept. 22, UB faculty and doctoral students will provide at-risk adults with balance and strength assessments, evaluate their medication for fall risk-increasing drugs and provide individualized action plans that can be shared with their primary care physicians.
The program is led by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPPS) and School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) Physical Therapy Program in collaboration with the National Council on Aging.
The screenings are scheduled from 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Baptist Manor Senior Apartments at 276 Linwood Ave. in Buffalo.
“Falls can be devastating to an older person,” says Robert Wahler, PharmD, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice. “We hope that the development of this interprofessional clinic will be a model for future falls prevention programs.”
Each year, 2.8 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries, 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 Interprofessional Falls Risk Reduction Program builds on a previous SPPS senior medication therapy management program by incorporating balance assessments through a partnership with SPHHP.
The program is spearheaded by Wahler; Patricia Ohtake, PT, PhD, associate professor of rehabilitation science; and Peter Brody, PharmD, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice.