According to the Department of Health and Human Services, as much as 55% of elders are non-compliant with their medication. This means that they are failing to take medication according to a doctor’s orders. This in turn leads to about 200,000 hospital visits a year due to adverse reactions.
Elders are at an increased risk of medication errors. Many older adults have concurrent chronic medical conditions, lending to complicated and confusing medication regimes.
Problems with missed doses, doubling doses and sporadic use of medication can lead to serious complications and worse.
Why the increased risk and the need for proper medication management?
Elders can mistake one bottle of medication for another or misread dosing instructions.
The inability to hear a nurse, doctor or pharmacist’s instructions can lead to mishandling a medication.
Physical Impairment and Mobility Issues.
Problems swallowing, the inability to move easily and comfortably and pain can lead to a loss in motivation to take needed medications.
Elders living alone are more likely to not comply with medication regimes. Further, they are less likely to report side effects.
Failure to remember the day of the week, recall whether a medication was already taken or simply forgetting to take needed medication altogether increases the likelihood of complications.
Whether you are caring for a loved one personally or live out-of-town, having an experienced nurse and caring aides to observe, track and monitor medications can lead to peace of mind for everyone involved.
- Regular visits from a licensed nurse to set up medication regimes and explain instructions on dosing.
- Nursing visits to answer questions and offer a clear understanding of side effects and problems to watch for. We aim to teach medication management to all those involved.
- A 24-hour on-call nurse for any complications that arise.
- Nursing aides available for in-home visits to help remind, observe and report problems.
- Licensed staff to monitor symptoms and side-effects, especially for those medications affecting thinking and balance.
When you, as a family member cannot set up the medications, do not feel confident explaining complicated medication regimes, or cannot make sure medication is being taken correctly or on time, there is help available! This is where home health care can bridge the gap by providing a greater level of safety for elders in their homes.