January 8, 2018

Why Don’t Seniors Take All Their Medications

As we get older we are prescribed medications to help us maintain our health. Seniors on average are prescribed 7 medications to take daily. Knowing about each of these medications and remembering to take them is a lot of information! Seniors can become easily confused and take their medication improperly or forget to take it all together. Over half of seniors taking medication make some sort of a mistake that can have potentially serious consequences. 10% of hospital admissions are a result of mistaking medication.
What are some of the reasons seniors don’t take their medications?
Seniors all too often don’t understand why they are prescribed a medication or the importance of taking it. For this and for other reasons, seniors decide not to or forget to take their medication because of many reasons, some outlined below.

  • They don’t think they need the medication. Many seniors are set in their own ways and think because they have been fine for years without medication they won’t need to take it.
  • The medication side effects are too much. Many medications come with side effects like loss of appetite or dry mouth, which can be frustrating enough for seniors to stop taking their medication.
  • Seniors are fast to give up on medications which they don’t think are working and convince themselves they are better off without them.
  • They just forget to take their medication due to memory loss or other issues.
  • The cost of medication is a burden which they can’t justify paying for or even cut back on doses to reduce the cost.

How can you encourage seniors to take their medications?
Try using some of these tips to help your loved one from making mistakes with their medication.

  • Organize
    Purchase a medication reminder and/or pill organizer to help them with the proper dose and timing. We offer a solution that allows you to customize to your loved ones treatment program by sounding an alarm when a dose is due.
  • Explain
    Provide your loved one with a clear explanation of their medications and why they are needed. Explain the name of the medication, the cost, possible side effects, how it works, the proper dosage, and any dangerous interactions with foods or drinks.
  • Remind
    Family or other caregivers are the most effective medication reminders. Encourage them to take medications at the same time each day before another daily activity like brushing teeth.
  • Ask Questions
    If they are confused have them ask their doctor questions. Their doctor should be aware of any over the counter medications which are taken in conjunction with their other medications.
  • Eating
    Make sure your loved one is consuming a good diet. Some medications require an empty stomach while others should be taken with food.

The inability to administer their own medications most often leads to seniors being admitted into nursing homes. We are able to provide our clients with some extra assistance in making sure they are taking the medications they were prescribed, in the comfort of their own home. We also offer a medication dispensing management solution for those still wanting to do it themselves.

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