Medications can both improve and save lives, but there is a hidden danger that can lead to dire consequences — the danger of medication non-adherence.
Data shows that upwards of 125,000 people die every year as a result of prescription medication non-adherence, a number that’s twice as many as those who die from car accidents. And though many people believe they’re taking their prescriptions correctly, medication non-adherence concerns are actually very common, including:
- Failing to fill a prescription for a recommended medicine
- Skipping at least one dose
- Taking the wrong med
- Taking an excessive amount of a prescribed medication
- Stopping a medication too soon
- Incorrect use of medical equipment like inhalers and syringes
- Taking damaged, expired, or incorrectly stored medications
Medication non-adherence can be especially dangerous among older individuals, many of whom take multiple prescription meds. However, research shows that with the proper knowledge, motivation, and support, older individuals can overcome the obstacles to medication adherence. As the top-rated provider of home care Denton and Dallas area seniors trust, we’ve broken down some of the challenges in staying with a prescribed medication plan, and tips to tackle them:
Memory Problems: A major difficulty in medication adherence among older adults is loss of memory. Those with dementia or Alzheimer’s might forget to take their prescriptions or may even take multiple doses, having forgotten that they had taken a dose earlier.
Tip: Make taking medications a part of a consistent, everyday routine, utilizing medication dispensers and/or charts to stay organized.
Swallowing Problems: Some seniors have difficulty swallowing pills, and as a result, may try to chew or crush medicines, causing long-acting drugs to be released into the body too rapidly.
Tip: Ask the physician or pharmacist if the medicine is available in a liquid or small pill form that is easier to swallow.
Accessibility Problems: Many senior individuals have trouble with transportation and/or ambulation, making it hard to get to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and refills.
Tip: Check into mail order prescriptions that are mailed to the home, or contact Heaven at Home Senior Care for assistance.
Taking prescription meds correctly is crucial to seniors’ health. For help in making certain a senior you love is following doctor’s orders, contact Heaven at Home Senior Care, providers of the best home care in Denton, Dallas, and the surrounding areas. Contact us online or at (940) 380-0500 for our Denton office or (972) 245-1515 for our Dallas office to learn about our services.