How To Prevent The Most Common Medication Problems with Simple Medication Monitoring Solutions

medication monitoring solutionsFor seniors, medication can either act as a lifeline for overall health, or can be disasterous when taken inappropiately. When medication doses are not taken correctly, the end result can be fatal. Fortunately, there is several simple medication monitoring solutions that can be implemented in a senior’s care plan to reduce or eliminate medication dosing errors.

These types of problems are widespread among the elderly. In fact, the DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) has determined that over 50 percent of seniors over the age of 65 are non-compliant when taking their medications as directed. In addition, over 20,000 seniors are admitted to hospitals annually because of adverse medication reactions.

There are several reasons why seniors do not take their medications are prescribed. The following explains the most common reasons for these errors and the medication monitoring solutions that can be implemented to resolve these causes.

Vision Problems

It is not uncommon for adults to begin experiencing problems with their vision as they get older. Left untreated, these vision problems can impair their driving as well as create medication dosage errors. They may no longer be able to distinguish the differences between similar looking medications and/or have trouble reading the print on the labels.

The best solution is to request larger print on the medication bottles. If your parent or elderly relative has problems with their vision, the pharmacist can print larger labels that can be easily read by the senior.

Dementia/Memory Loss

If your elderly loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, they may simply do not remember to take their medications as instructed. This will cause them to skip doses, and if they cannot remember, they may also overdose on their medications.

In these types of situations, pill box organizers will be one of the most effective medication monitoring solutions. A traditional pill box organizer may be the most beneficial for your loved one, or you can select one of the computerized dispensers that are on the market. These more advanced organizers will sound an alarm if a certain number of pills are not taken by a preselected time, or they sound an alarm to remind the patient to take their medication.

Fixed Income

Seniors who are on a budget or have a fixed income may not be able to purchase all of the medications that they need in a month. As a result, some will decide to split their pills in half or even decide to take less than the prescribed dosage. Other seniors may decide to go without taking their medications for extended periods of time.

There are several medication monitoring solutions to help those who are on a low or fixed income take their medications as instructed to maintain their health, prevent reoccurrence of symptoms and other adverse reactions.

Generic medications can be taken instead of brand name. Generics are the same as brand name, but they are less expensive. Always ask if there is a generic medication for any prescription your elderly loved one receives from his or her doctor.

You can also look for financial assistance to help your elderly parents or relative pay for their prescriptions. The pharmacy may also offer a discount or reward programs. The medication’s manufacturer may also offer discount programs for certain medications.

Hearing Problems

Just like vision problems, problems with hearing can impede a senior’s ability to understand doctors or pharmacists verbal instructions on how to take the medication correctly.

The easiest monitoring solution for hearing issues is to get all of the prescription’s instructions in writing. It is important for your loved one not to feel embarrassed regarding their loss of hearing.

Another alternative is to get your loved one fitted for a hearing device. Be sure that your parent or aging relative wears the hearing device to all of their doctor appointments and to all visits to the pharmacy.

Troubles with Swallowing

There are some seniors who have difficulties swallowing pills, capsules and tablets because of their health conditions. They may try to crush or break the pills and add them in food so it will be easier for them to take. However, this can cause a negative reaction in the body especially with extended release tablets. Medications that are released faster than recommended into the body can cause adverse reactions.

If the medication is available in liquid form, request that the prescription is prepared in a liquid so it is easier for your loved one to take.

It is critical that seniors take their medications as prescribed, especially if they are taking several medications for different health conditions. By incorporating practical medication monitoring solutions into their regimen, your elderly loved ones will be more likely to follow medication adherence when taking prescription medicines.

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