The Merck Manual website reports that there are approximately 46 million elderly in the United States and nearly 29% of those people live alone.
One of the challenges faced by seniors who live alone is complying with prescribed medical treatment regimens. 1
Anyone who has taken prescribed medication has those days when they say to themselves, “Did I take my pill this morning?” Part of the aging process is some degree of memory loss, so mistakes become even more commonplace for seniors.
- Too much – taking more than the prescribed dosage
- Too frequent – taking the medication more often than prescribed
- Too little – taking less than the prescribed dosage
- Too seldom – taking the medication less often than prescribed
- Mixing – combining medications with others can lead to adverse, even dangerous, physical reactions OR negate the effects of one or both medications. Caution also needs to be exercised when taking medications with certain foods or alcohol.
Mistakes can also happen with non-prescription drugs, such as antihistamines, laxatives, and ibuprofen.
Seniors are often taking several medications and may see multiple doctors or use various pharmacies. It’s vitally important that complete medical information be provided to all healthcare providers to avoid prescription drug interactions.
C-Care Health Services offers these tips for senior medication management2:
- Go through your loved one’s the medicine chest. Make a list of all medications. Make sure they are still current.
- Set up a weekly or monthly pill box with medications sorted out correctly for your loved one. Monitor the box closely to be sure that the medications are being taken correctly.
- Share all medication information with each doctor and specialist to ensure the proper meds and doses are being ingested.
- Talk with the pharmacist about proper medications and doses.
If you feel you can’t give your loved one’s medication regimen the oversight it requires, it may be time to consider an assisted living center. Download our brochure “Is It Time” at http://www.cityofperkins.net/isittimeforassistedliving.
For more information and resources, please contact Executive Director Tracey Harris at (405) 547-8311.
Download or Print: Seniors and Medication Management
Download our publication, Seniors and Medication Management
Red Bud Assisted Living Center
215 W. Freeman
Perkins, Oklahoma 74059