Elderly people take more medications than other age groups, benefit the most from them and have more risk to their health if they do not take them properly. Unfortunately, older adults are at risk for non adherence to their medicine prescriptions for many reasons including:
- Vision problems - they have difficulty reading the prescription or dosage instructions
- Hearing problems - they misunderstand or cannot hear doctors' and pharmacists' instructions.
- Cognitive impairments - they may not understand that they are supposed to take medications or memory loss causes them to forget to do so.
- Arthritis or lack of muscle strength - they may have difficulty opening medicine packaging
- Dysphagia - they have trouble swallowing
- Mobility issues - they cannot get to their medication or pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy.
- Chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or osteoporosis with no symptoms - without cues, they can lose the motivation or forget to take medication.
- Multiple medications - they become overwhelmed trying to manage the timing and dosage amounts.
Our staff are trained to work with client specific medication profiles, which may change regularly and ensure that all medicines are taken on time and in accordance with the prescription.
Whether purposeful or inadvertent, there are several ways medication mistakes occur, all of which can be dangerous for people:
- Failing to spot pharmacy dispensing errors where Measured Dosing Systems (MDS) are used
- Taking more or less of a medication than prescribed
- Taking a dose at the wrong time
- Discontinuing medication prematurely
- Taking a medication prescribed for someone else
- Taking a dose with prohibited foods, liquids, and other medications
- Taking expired or damaged medications
By assisting you, reminding you and working with your medication chart, in accordance with prescriptions, the caregiver or care team can avoid and help you avoid medication mistakes.
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