Seniors and RX

Did you know that more than 100,000 older Americans a year wind up in the hospital because of problems with their medication?

There are a number of risks associated with taking medications, including:

  • Harmful interactions between multiple meds
  • Sensitivity to certain drugs
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in appetite or excessive weight loss or gain
  • Drowsiness or difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Forgetfulness or absent-mindedness

The not-so-funny thing is that seniors are often most at risk for medication issues when they are being treated or recovering from illness or surgeries. In other words, when they are actually under a professional's care.

If you are working with an older adult who is transitioning back home after being in medical  , here are some ways you can help that person and their family manage their prescriptions and prevent further complications.

  • Identify a care team that will work together through the transition. This can include the senior, any family members, friends or neighbors who assist in their care, professional at-home caregivers, healthcare personnel and the senior's pharmacist.
  • Examine all prescriptions and make note of dosage, dosing instructions, key interactions and expiration dates. Keeping a chart is helpful for this, or the family can use a service, such as Simple Meds that actually works with healthcare professionals and their patients to coordinate, dispense and deliver prescriptions.
  • Set up a plan for the senior to get their prescriptions. If they no longer drive, is there someone who can get them to the pharmacy for refills or is delivery an option?
  • Keep track of side effects and keep the care team updated.

Home Instead Senior Care has developed an extensive program to help older adults and their families manage prescription medications. For more information about the program, or other ways to help seniors age successfully at home, please contact us!


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