Post Hospital Care: The Link Between Medications and Fall Risk

The changes that occur as the body ages may increase the risk of accidents and falls. Add to that the medications that many seniors are prescribed and their effect on balance, and it becomes necessary to understand the link between those medications and fall risk. This is especially significant when faced with new medications after a hospital stay. To ensure the safety and well-being of seniors, a strong understanding of the medications listed in the discharge plan and the implementation of post hospital care services are key.

Post Hospital Care Gray GA - Post Hospital Care: The Link Between Medications and Fall Risk
Post Hospital Care Gray GA – Post Hospital Care: The Link Between Medications and Fall Risk

Understanding the Value of Senior Post Hospital Care

Seniors frequently need continuous care and support to fully recover from a hospital stay, especially if faced with changes in their medication routine, physical weakness, or cognitive impairment during this transitional period. A seamless return to daily life is the goal of effective post-hospital care, which also tries to reduce the risk of complications such as falls.

Medication and the Risk of Falls

Seniors who take certain medication classes have an increased risk of falling. For loved ones and seniors, it’s essential to understand if those medications are included in the post hospital care plan. The following common medications have the potential to increase the risk of falling:

Benzodiazepines and Sedatives: Benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, diazepam) and sedative-hypnotics are frequently prescribed medications for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and specific mental illnesses. However, these medications can make seniors sleepy, lightheaded, and less coordinated, which makes falling more likely.

Depression Medications: Orthostatic hypotension, or a sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing up, is a side effect of some antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Orthostatic hypotension, particularly in older adults with mobility impairments, can result in dizziness and fainting, which raises the risk of falls.

Antihypertensives: Even though hypertension (high blood pressure) medications are crucial for maintaining cardiovascular health, some of them, especially for older adults, can cause orthostatic hypotension or vertigo. Diuretics, beta- and alpha-blockers, and other antihypertensive medication classes may raise the risk of falls.

Techniques for Reducing the Risk of Falls

Senior fall prevention after hospital discharge necessitates a multimodal strategy that includes medication management, home adaptations, and continuous monitoring. Understanding this, loved ones might consider getting help from home health, which can provide the following assistance and more:

Medication Management: Not only can home health help seniors and loved ones understand medications that are a part of post hospital care, but they can also aid in medication management by ensuring the medications are taken appropriately and watching for side effects that might raise the risk of falling.

Education: Home health can also provide valuable education and resources to seniors and their loved ones about possible interactions as well as fall prevention techniques like taking it slowly when getting up from a sitting or lying position.

Physical Therapy: Often, post hospital care will include physical therapy exercises to enhance mobility, strength, and balance, which will lessen the chance of falls.

Home Safety Assessment: Home health can also assist with assessments in the home to ensure possible hazards are addressed, such as loose carpets, dim lighting, or obstructions in the way.

For the most supportive post hospital care, it is essential to understand how medications can increase risks for seniors returning home, especially the risk of falling. Working together, healthcare providers, loved ones, and home health can reduce the risk of falls and promote a full recovery in post hospital care.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Post Hospital Care Services in Gray GA, please get in touch with the caring staff at Angels of Mercy Private Homecare Services, Inc. today at 478-745-5111.

Angels of Mercy Private Homecare Services is a Trusted Home Care Agency serving Macon, Warner Robins, Perry, Gray, Milledgeville, Forsyth, Cochran, Jeffersonville, Eastman, Fort Valley, and the surrounding areas.

Zandrea Durham