The elderly in our communities have a right to access proper medical care. This includes proper medication, ensuring that they take the right dosage and also have their full medical records. Medication mismanagement effects are widespread among the elderly. Statistically, 55 percent of the elderly do not take their medicine as per the doctor’s prescription resulting to some being hospitalized due to that.
Elderly medication management for the elderly is really important. As we age, there are diseases associated with old age such as cancer, hypertension, heart diseases and many more. Therefore, taking medications as early as possible before the disease advances minimizes the risk enabling them to be healthy and live longer. This also helps those with terminal diseases to have comfortable lives during their last days free from pain and suffering.
It is advisable for the elderly living alone to have caretakers to help them. It is often not feasible for the family members to assist in this manner. They are not home 24 hours a day to help out. That is where a a home health care professional can really help out.
The elderly usually have a lot of prescriptions to take to meet their health needs. Due to that, a lot of them find it hard to take the medicine at the right time since most of them tend to forget. This is where the caretakers come in handy to see to it that they have taken their medicine on time and also the right dosage. This helps reduce risks of death as some die due to mismanagement of the drugs and also prevent some being admitted in costly hospitals and nursing homes.
Drug mismanagement often lead to effects such as overdose, under dose, and drug interactions. Drug interactions happen where a drug meant to treat a disease leads to the rise of another one. This is usually the main case among the elderly known as prescribing cascade. A lot of drugs have adverse effects resembling common disorder symptoms among the elderly. For instance antipsychotics and cholinesterase inhibitors. Hence, doctors always have to keep in mind possibilities of new symptoms may arise due to drug therapy.
The elderly should always be given a lower dose for starters. Later, the dose can then be higher. Usually overdose occurs due to age-related changes. This affects pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. For instance, renal impairment patients should have adjusted doses of renally cleared drugs. Poor communication contributes too where a patient is discharged from hospital and then goes to another doctor who prescribes him different medicine from what he used while in hospital. This can lead to the omission of a necessary drug for healing.
Under dosage usually happens when a patient is given a lower prescription than expected. This then makes the medicine ineffective hence may lead to death and lower the quality of life. Under prescribed drugs usually are those used to treat depression, pain, heart failure among others. Some patients too fail to adhere to their drug dosage which is usually due to various reasons like financial constraints making it difficult to purchase some drugs, taking a lot of drugs hence making one not take the full dosage. All these can be done away with through proper elderly medication management, and in the end it will be possible to avoid any bad effects that drugs cause to the elderly.