A current research study of more than 2,000 older adults reveals that an incredible 87% take more than one prescription drug, and a full 36% are taking five or more – as well as 38% using over-the-counter meds on a routine basis. Monitoring medication for seniors can be extremely difficult, and there are a number of risks and dangers which can develop in the process.
As experts in aging care, CareWorks’ Health Services’ caregiving team helps older adults ensure meds are taken when and how they are prescribed. It’s also very important to be aware of common problems older adults experience with regards to prescriptions, and just how to overcome them. For example:
Oftentimes, symptoms continue regardless of taking medications correctly. Medical practitioners may prescribe what is known as a “starter dose” of a medication, which requires follow-up to ascertain if modification is necessary; but often, that follow-up never occurs. Make sure to schedule a subsequent visit with the physician when a new medication is prescribed, and ensure the senior keeps that appointment.
Adverse reactions may be even more serious than the condition being treated. Of specific issue are medications that impact a senior’s balance and thinking – escalating the chance of a fall or some other dangerous consequences. Medications to be especially cautious about consist of anticholinergics, sedatives/tranquilizers, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and opiates. Speak with the doctor if any of these medications are prescribed for an older family member and thoroughly weigh the possible risks against benefits.
Staying compliant with medication adherence can be a struggle. Remembering that one particular med needs to be taken with food, while another on an empty stomach, another with a full glass of water, one before breakfast and two at bedtime, can make it highly challenging to take prescriptions exactly when and how they are prescribed. Enlist the services of a home care agency, such as CareWorks Health Services and their experts in home care in Mission Viejo that can help with medication reminders.
Cost can be prohibitive. When cost for a particular medication is high, seniors could be tempted to reduce their dosage amounts to conserve cost – an extremely risky behavior. The elderly can instead talk to their physicians about generic versions of medications, or other ways to keep cost at a minimum.
Learn about possible interactions with other meds. Bring the complete listing of every one of the medications a senior loved one is taking to a physician or pharmacist with expertise in polypharmacy, who can confirm that the drugs can safely be taken in tandem with one another. Be sure to include any over-the-counter medications taken regularly as well. For a quick online assessment, this drug interaction checker enables you to enter each of a senior’s medications and view any concerns, which can then be discussed with his / her physician.
Contact CareWorks Health Services at (949) 859-4700 for even more medication management tips, and for professional hands-on help with medication reminders, transportation to doctors’ appointments, and more to assist those you love in remaining healthy and safe. Learn why CareWorks Health Services provides the kind of home care Mission Viejo, CA families recommend most. To learn more about the other areas we serve in California, please visit our Service Area page.