What Is The Most Common Problem With Medication For Seniors?
Not Taking It When Prescribed!
Each medication is not an isolated drug. When a doctor prescribes medication for seniors, they are not only looking at a specific health problem, but the patient’s entire condition as well. A doctor may prescribe multiple medications, carefully calculating them to work together. When one or more medication is not taken at all, or not at the right times or in the right dosage, the resulting imbalance can often mean a reduction in health. In some instances, it can even be life threatening.
There are many reasons an elderly person may not be taking all their prescribed medications.
Elderly people may easily get confused about which medication to take and when to take them. This can be especially true if they have problems with their vision or their mobility. Reading instructions, seeing all of the different pills, and making multiple trips to the kitchen can too often become difficult chores. They may sleep through or forget their medication times. They may not understand how to manage the different medications in order to avoid upsetting the stomach. They may even be convinced that the medication is unnecessary. They may dislike swallowing so many pills; or perhaps, they actually have trouble swallowing them. It’s common for the elderly to simply choose not to take all of their medications and to make that choice without any further consultation with their physician. This can be particularly true if they do not fully understand the importance of certain medications and the way they interact with other medications they are taking.
Some medication for seniors require an empty stomach for proper absorption. Some should be taken immediately before eating; others during the meal or after eating. Some can be mixed in apple sauce or other foods to help aid swallowing, while others should not be broken open. Some need to be taken multiple times per day and at different dosages each time. Others may be prescribed for only once or twice per week. It can all be confusing– even for younger adults, who are able to program all sorts of medication reminders into their personal electronic gadgets! The elderly, however, are generally unable or unwilling to learn how to use such electronic aids effectively. They tend to require personal, human assistance.
Don’t wait until matters are out of control.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “In the United States, an estimated 3 million older adults are admitted to nursing homes due to drug-related problems…Approximately 30 percent of hospital admissions of older adults are drug related, with more than 11 percent attributed to medication nonadherence…Older adults discharged from the hospital on more than five drugs are more likely to visit the emergency department (ED) and be rehospitalized during the first 6 months after discharge.”
When it is too hard for your elderly loved one to manage their own medications, a professional In-Home Caregiver can be a much better alternative to a nursing home. The personal care services provided by our caregivers can have multiple benefits: ensuring your loved one is taking their medicines in a timely manner; managing foods and drinks around the medications; and recognizing potential problems which might arise from drug interactions or allergic reactions. A caregiver can, in fact, relieve all of the stress surrounding the proper administration of medication for seniors.
Extended benefits to getting help
Remember that while medications may be the important issue leading to the hiring of a professional caregiver, a home health caregiver can lend assistance in other areas in between medication times. Light housework and friendly companionship are commonly appreciated benefits. The individual needs of you and your loved one are always considered in a free consultation. We welcome the opportunity to explore how we can best be of compassionate assistance in your or your loved one’s unique situation.