For many elderly people, medication can be one of two things – a lifeline to a better, healthier life, or disaster waiting to strike. If too much medication is taken or doses are skipped altogether, the results can be dangerous, possibly even deadly.
The problem with medication is widespread. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 55 percent of elderly Americans do not take the medication according to the doctor’s orders. These are some of the common causes of medication mistakes and what you could do to prevent them in the future.
People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may forget to take their medications. However, the opposite might also be true. They may not remember when they last took their dosage, which leads to them taking another dosage.
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between pills or read small print on labels for those seniors who have vision problems. You can ask your pharmacist to print the labels in a larger print size. That could possibly remedy the issue.
Problems With Cost
Sometimes seniors simply do not have the funds needed to buy the necessary medication. This causes them to cut back on the prescribed dose or start to split pills. As you might imagine, that is never a good idea. Some of the options that you can try are to use generic drugs or find financial assistance for prescription medication. Make sure to look for low-cost prescription savings plans.
If your parent or loved one is living alone, they might be more likely to refuse to comply with medication regimens. There are several studies available that suggest this is a pattern in those who live alone. It might be a good idea to consider an assisted living facility if you believe that this is going to continue to be a problem in the future.
Certain health conditions may make it difficult to swallow a capsule or tablet for some seniors. They might try to mix, break, crush, or chew the capsule or tablet. That might have a negative effect, especially when a long-acting medication is being released too fast. Remember that unless the doctor or pharmacist says it is all right to do so, do not break, crush, or chew a capsule or tablet. If this continues to be a problem, you can always ask for a liquid version of the drug.