Seniors take more medications than other age group, 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 nonadherence to their medication regimen for many reasons including:
- Vision problems – they are unable to read the dosing instructions
- Hearing problems – they misunderstand or cannot hear physicians’ 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 drug 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.
At the instruction and supervision of our Licensed Nurse our caregivers are trained to ensure that all medication is taken on time and in accordance with physician orders. Whether purposeful or inadvertent, there are several ways medication noncompliance occurs, all of which can be dangerous for seniors:
- Failing to initially fill a prescription or to refill as directed
- 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 following your loved one’s medication profile, the caregiver or caregiver team can prevent medication noncompliance.