Studies show that elderly adults often face more than one chronic condition that requires medication. It’s not uncommon for seniors to take four or more pills every day. With precise dosages, timetables and constant refills, it’s no wonder that medication mismanagement is one of the most serious health issues that seniors face, especially when they live alone. Family caregivers who look after an elderly relative need to watch out for the warning signs of medication mismanagement, so they can step in and find a solution.
What is Medication Mismanagement?
Medication mismanagement is the failure to take medications as prescribed by a doctor. When seniors are receiving treatment for a chronic condition, taking the right medication at the right time is critical for success. Because many people at the later stages of life are dealing with many health issues and the subsequent medication for treatment, getting the dosage, timing and other factors wrong can lead to serious health consequences.
Signs of Medication Mismanagement
Family caregivers that are responsible for a dependent senior’s health and wellness need to recognize some of the red flags that may signal medication mismanagement. The most common signs are unopened prescription bottles, frequent calls from the pharmacy about prescriptions that need picked up and confusion when the elderly person is asked about their medication.
Physical warning signs of medicinal mismanagement include excessive sleepiness, weight gain or loss, change in appearance, dizziness, nausea and confusion. Elderly adults may also demonstrate the symptoms of the chronic condition they are taking the medicine for, because they aren’t getting the proper treatment anymore. In some cases, medication mismanagement can result in hospitalization and even death.
Resolving Medication Mismanagement Issues
Family caregivers with elderly adults that notice evidence of medication mismanagement have a few options to help them. One of the most effective and safe ways to deal with it is to hire an elder care provider. Chances are, if the aging adult is struggling with medication, there are many other areas they need help with, too. The elder care provider can pitch in with housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation and self-care tasks like grooming and hygiene.
Medication management requires the elder care provider to remind the elderly adult when it is time to take their medication. They can also read medicine bottle labels and note any side effects that the elderly person may be suffering from and let the family caregiver know. Elder care providers are not allowed to administer the medication directly to the aging adult—they can only remind them and assist with preparation. It’s so helpful to have an organized professional at an aging adult’s side, keeping their medication needs on track.
Family caregivers want the best for their aging relative, and thanks to modern medicine, many of the chronic conditions associated with age can be properly treated thanks to prescription drugs. However, to be effective, these medications need to be taken properly. Hiring an elder care provider is one of the best ways to alleviate medication mismanagement in an elderly person’s life.
If you are considering elder care in Berlin, CT for your aging parent, please contact the caring staff at Franciscan Ever There Care. Call today 203-630-2881.