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Medication adherence vital to senior health

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Education, Health, Local News, National News, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on November 19, 2014 at 7:16 pm

PrsnlCareSrvcs-300x300Dayton, OH – According to studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, approximately one-half of senior adults who take at least one medication per day find keeping to the regimen difficult to maintain. Elderly patients can often become confused about dosage and scheduling and sometimes do not even understand the purpose for each prescription.

Because medication is metabolized differently as people age, timing is important. To be most effective, many medications have to be taken exactly as prescribed for the full benefit to be achieved. Unfortunately, many seniors may be taking prescriptions at the wrong time or missing doses entirely.

Medications can also get mixed up when there is more than one elderly resident in the home, creating an additional danger to the individuals. Without daily monitoring, it may also be difficult to identify older adults who may be at risk for medication nonadherence. In the absence of daily oversight by close friends or family members, one helpful alternative is a professional senior care provider.

Becky Kearney is the Senior Director of Operations for Golden Heart Senior Care in Centerville, Ohio. She notes that, along with other tasks, one of the jobs asked of Golden Heart caregivers is to help seniors maintain their medication adherence.

“Our caregivers frequently deal with the effects of over or under medicating,” Kearney says. “Improper medication administration can create havoc for both the individual and his or her family members.”

Daily home care providers can help to ensure that medication is properly taken, in the accurate dosage and by the correct method (oral, topical, etc.), and at the right time. “Mishandling of prescriptions can cause long term, if not permanent damage to the physical and mental health of the individual.  All of which could be prevented with medication monitoring by a caregiver,” adds Kearney.

As a senior’s health and independence decline, constant prescription changes can also become more confusing and difficult to manage alone. For those with elderly friends or family, inquire how he or she is managing medications and if no one is monitoring the situation, suggest a call to an in-home senior care agency or contact the local council on aging for a referral.

To learn more about getting help for senior medication adherence in the Miami Valley area, contact Golden Heart Senior Care by calling, 937-506-0190.