ODA, Walgreens to address senior falls


COLUBUS — On Tuesday, Aug. 7, Walgreens drug stores throughout Ohio, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Aging and Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging, will help educate older customers about how to reduce their risk of injury from falls.

A Walgreens is located at 20 W. Market St., Troy.

In addition to encouraging individuals to talk to pharmacy staff about fall injury prevention, Walgreens stores will have informational materials available, including a CDC checklist that can help the user measure their fall risk. The tool asks questions such as whether they have fallen in the past year or take medications that make them feel light-headed or drowsy. Pharmacy staff will also have information about local aging services and support available through the Ohio’s 12 area agencies on aging.

“Older adult falls are an epidemic in Ohio,” said Beverley L. Laubert, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “We are proud to foster local relationships that will connect elders to services and supports that can help them remain independent and engaged in their communities.”

“As we age, many of the medicines we take to stay healthy may increase our risk of falling,” said Alexandra Broadus, Walgreens regional health care director for the region including Ohio. “Pharmacy staff are uniquely positioned to identify some of the key risk factors for falls, and thanks to our collaboration with the Department of Aging and Ohio’s 12 area agencies on aging, our staff will be able to link individuals to other available assistance.”

“A single fall can change the life of not only the individual, but also his or her family and friends,” added Larke Recchie, CEO of the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “Area agencies are excited to partner with Walgreens to provide help before a fall happens so that older Ohioans can maintain a high quality of life.”

Customers who are Walgreens Balance Rewards members will receive 1,000 bonus points if they ask a pharmacy staff member about fall injury prevention. Additionally, members who are age 55 and older or AARP members can receive 20 percent off of eligible, regular-priced merchandise that day. A Balance Rewards customer loyalty program membership is free and can be obtained at checkout. Walgreens, the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging have been working together to strengthen local partnerships between pharmacy staff and area agencies on aging. Area agency staff have helped educate pharmacists about how and when to make referrals. Supports available through the area agencies include falls prevention workshops, home delivered meals, minor home modifications, transportation services, long-term care consultations and more.

The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.