– Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
It’s hard to remember to take your medication at any age, especially when you are taking more than one prescription. Also, in some cases, having to take a daily pill is a frustrating reminder of an ailment or debilitating physical or mental condition. However, the reality is that two-thirds of all seniors take at least one medication each day, and 25% take three or more. Many seniors owe their lives, or at least their quality of life, to medications. Of course, medicine doesn’t work if patients don’t take it! Failure to take prescribed medication is linked to higher death rates for obvious reasons.
Researchers have found that some approaches are successful in helping seniors take their medications for the short term. These include counseling and providing written instructions and pill packaging that helps patients take their drugs properly, like the day-by-day dose packaging and calendar-based pill boxes.
But, getting seniors to take their drugs over long periods is much more challenging. Even the most effective strategies often do not lead to major improvements in adherence or the health of seniors. Since up to half of seniors are unable or unwilling to follow a prescribed medication regimen, the only sure solution is continual monitoring of medications by a caregiver.
Unlike family members, professional caregivers are often more effective at medication reminders and monitoring, since seniors tend to view them as more authoritative than relatives, especially their own children! Plus, tasked with this duty, caregivers are more reliable at following through, since they keep daily records and are less susceptible to distractions or complacency that family members may suffer. Home Care Assistance can provide caregivers or senior companions who are trained in giving medication reminders.
If you have an interesting article/topic about home care, caregivers, senior care information and products, that you would like us to review or blog about, please email us here. >>