Americans fill more than four billion prescriptions on an annual basis… that averages out to about 12 prescriptions for every person in the United States! With senior citizens receiving and taking so many of these prescription drugs in addition to over-the-counter medications and remedies, the need for medication management is clear and urgent. Your residential care professionals at East West Care in Redwood City have compiled this list of three reasons why medication management for senior citizens is so crucial.
Reason 1) Senior citizens make up the biggest portion of the population taking prescription drugs.
Seniors comprise about 40 percent of the total amount of prescriptions taken nationwide—that’s about 1.6 billion prescription drugs! Not only do seniors take a high quantity of prescriptions as a group, but the vast majority of elder Americans also are taking multiple prescriptions. Data compiled by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists found that people between the ages of 65 and 69 were taking almost 14 prescriptions per year, while individuals aged 80 to 84 took, on average, 18 prescriptions each year.
Reason 2) The more prescriptions that you take, the more likely that an error will be made.
When taking any medication, it is important that the right protocols be taken. Each medication should be taken on time, on schedule, and prepared correctly. Failing to do so results in a medication error. Common medication errors include:
Taking the wrong medication at the wrong time
Missing a dose of medication
Taking two medications at the same time that should not be taken together because if their interactions
Taking someone else’s medication by mistake
These are just some of the examples of medication errors, and the consequences of any of them could be dire, depending on how the medication is supposed to help you. That’s where medication management comes into play.
Reason 3) Poor medication management can cause an adverse reaction, a serious illness, or even require a hospital stay.
Senior citizens are more likely to experience adverse drug reactions and noncompliance—which refers to any situation in which a patient is not correctly taking their prescribed medication. For an older American, medication noncompliance can lead to a visit to the emergency room or other serious complications, while also necessitating a recovery process that will cause extra financial expense, possible physical therapy, and likely mean that even more medications will need to be taken and managed.
Medication management in senior care
At East West Care, we believe that medication management is one of the most important services we can provide to our residents. This means keeping current lists of every over-the-counter and prescription medication being taken by each of our residents, including accurate information on the proper dose, frequency, preparation instructions, and side effects. Medication management is just one of the ways we provide assistance in the activities of daily living but, considering the consequences, it is without question one of the most important ways we provide assistance.
Would you like to learn more about the care and services we provide? Are you concerned that your elderly parent is not taking all their prescriptions properly, or has he or she already experienced some medication reactions or noncompliance? East West Care can ease your mind and provide the medication management your senior parent needs. Find out more about our services or arrange a tour of our facility by calling (650) 261-3593.
East West Care offers residential care for senior citizens in Redwood City, or throughout the Bay Area of California.