Pills and Spills (Medication and Falls)

This in-service series will help direct care workers (certified nursing assistants and home health aides) to reduce the risk of falls and minimize injury by:

  • Increasing awareness of common risk factors—i.e., seeing the client through a falls prevention lens
  • Increasing knowledge of how medications and the physical environment can increase or decrease fall risk
  • Developing observational, reporting, and communication skills to reduce risk factors for falls

 This series includes video presentations and discussions based on an adult learner-centered approach.


Pills and Spills: Facilitator Guide, Pre-Test, Post-Test, Answer Key

Please download the following documents before accessing the sessions.


Pills and Spills Session 1 - Stop Falls: Addressing Fall Risk Factors

This session identifies common causes of falls, including personal, environmental, and behavioral factors.  It also reviews which fall risk factors can be reduced by direct care workers.


Pills and Spills Session 2 - Aging, Health and Falls

This session describes the current characteristics of the older population.  Specific topics include how bodies change as they age, common health problems that affect older adults, and how medications used to treat those problems can contribute to falls.


Pills and Spills Session 3 - Medical Conditions that Contribute to Falls

This session reviews common health conditions among older adults that affect physical and cognitive function.  How these conditions increase fall risk is explained.  Strategies that direct care workers can use to reduce fall risk among their clients are described.


Pills and Spills Session 4 - Recognizing the Link Between Medication and Falls

This session identifiesthe types of medication that are associated with an increased fall risk.  Situations where older adults are at increased risk for medication-induced falls are described.  The contribution of medications to both the prevention and cause of falls is discussed.  Strategies to recognize increased fall risk, document potential problems, and methods to report possible problems to appropriate staff are discussed.


Pills and Spills Session 5 - Personalizing Fall Prevention: The Environment

This session describes the person-environment model for fall prevention.  As our abilities change, the environment needs to be modified in order to support participation in tasks and activities.  As physical abilities decline, support in the environment needs to increase.  This session describes the role of direct care workers in identifying environmental problems and making recommendations.


Pills and Spills Session 6 - The 4P's: Pain, Positioning, Potty, Possessions

This session introudces the 4Ps model for fall prevention.  It explains the key components of hourly rounding using the 4Ps and positive benefits of incorporating these regular check-ins including reduced call lights, increased patient satisfaction, and reduced falls.