Medications can both enhance and save lives, but there is a hidden risk that can lead to dire consequences — the threat of medication non-compliance.
Studies show that approximately 125,000 people lose their lives each and every year because of prescription medication non-compliance, a number that’s twice as many as those who die from car accidents. And although many people assume they’re taking their medicines correctly, medication compliance problems are actually very common, such as:
• Neglecting to fill a prescription for a recommended medication
• Omitting at least one dose
• Taking the wrong med
• Taking too much of a prescribed medication
• Ceasing a medication too soon
• Incorrect use of medical equipment such as inhalers and syringes
• Taking damaged, expired, or improperly stored meds
Medication compliance can be particularly hazardous among older individuals, many of whom take multiple prescription meds. However, studies show that with the proper knowledge, motivation, and support, older individuals can break through the obstacles to medication adherence. As the top-rated provider of home care in Keizer and the surrounding area seniors trust, we’ve broken down some of the difficulties in following a prescribed medication plan, and tips to tackle them:
Memory Problems: A major difficulty in medication adherence among older adults is memory loss. Those with dementia or Alzheimer’s may not remember to take their medications or may even take multiple doses, having forgotten that they had taken a dose previously.
Tip: Make taking medicines a part of an established, everyday routine, utilizing medication dispensers and/or charts to stay organized.
Swallowing Problems: Some seniors have a problem with swallowing pills, and as a result, might attempt to chew or crush medications, causing long-acting medications to be released into the body too quickly.
Tip: Ask the physician or pharmacist if the medication is available in a liquid or small pill form that is easier to swallow.
Accessibility Problems: Many older individuals have trouble with transportation and/or ambulation, making it difficult to get to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and refills.
Tip: Check into mail order prescriptions that are delivered to the home, or contact New Horizons In-Home Care for help.
Taking prescription medications correctly is vital to seniors’ health. For help in making sure a senior you love is following physician’s orders, contact our providers in home health services in Eugene, OR and surrounding areas, New Horizons In-Home Care today at 541-687-8851, 541-752-9059 in Corvallis, 503-400-3000 in Salem, or 541-997-8115 in Florence or fill out our online contact form to find out more about how our in-home care services can help your family.