ANN ARBOR, MI — Every year, one in three older adults will fall and more than two million will be treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. Falls have significant repercussions for older adults; they are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among people ages 65 and older. To address this issue, Altarum Institute researchers will hold a series of focus groups with pharmacists to discuss the role of medication management in preventing falls among older adults.
Falls frequently result in loss of independence among older adults and are an expensive problem, with the direct medical costs for fall injuries being an estimated $34 billion each year. Falls regularly lead to debilitating, often life-altering injuries, including hip fractures and head injuries. These injuries can result in physical and emotional distress, immobility, and placement in nursing homes—an even greater expense for older adults and their families.
In an effort to help pharmacists reduce falls among their patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of the STEADI initiative, is creating a new learning opportunity for pharmacists. Altarum will support the CDC by obtaining pharmacists’ perspectives on this issue in focus groups throughout the month of July in Atlanta, Georgia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Washington, DC; and San Diego, California. The CDC will use data from these focus groups to develop continuing education unit-accredited online training materials aimed at reducing falls. The new training module will mark an important step toward providing pharmacists with the tools they need to help prevent falls and ultimately improving the health and quality of life of older adults in the U.S.
If you are a practicing pharmacist with older adult patients and you are able to attend any of the focus groups listed below, please RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot attend but know other practicing pharmacists who might be able to, please forward this information. Altarum and the CDC are particularly interested in the views of community pharmacists, health-systems pharmacists, and pharmacists practicing in managed care settings.
Practicing pharmacists, please join us at one of our focus groups:
Atlanta, Georgia: July 14
Ann Arbor, Michigan: July 21
Washington, DC: July 26
San Diego, California: July 28