Top 6 Reasons for Medication Mismanagement in the Elderly

Senior Care in Islip, NY: According to the Centers for Disease Control, five out of six persons age 65 and older are taking at least one medication and almost half of the elderly population take three or more. According to the department of health and human services, 55% of the elderly are non-compliant with their prescription drug orders. Below are some of the most common causes of medication mistakes in older adults:

1. Vision Problems

2. Memory Loss

3. Income

4. Swallowing Problems

5. Hearing Loss can impede an elderly person’s ability to hear the doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions.

6. Social Isolation—Several studies have shown that people who live alone more often fail to comply with medication regimens.

Some signs of medication mismanagement include new symptoms such as, skin discoloration, changes in weight, or fluid retention.  The person also may experience side effects such as, nausea, light headedness, dizziness, or fatigue.  If you notice unopened pill bottles or calls from the pharmacy that prescriptions haven’t been picked up, this would be another sign that the medication is being mishandled.

There are many solutions to helping your loved one get on track with taking medications correctly.  Pill boxes, automatic pill dispensers, and automated reminders are a great way to ensure the medication is organized and taken properly.   Some pharmacies offer pill packets that include prepackaged and sorted prescription medications and over-the-counter medications for your loved one to take.  These packs may come in a month’s supply and are a great solution if you live long distance or your loved one can no longer drive to the pharmacy.


Jennifer Benjamin
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