Medication compliance is important for everyone taking prescription medications, but it is especially crucial for the elderly who generally have more difficulty with adherence. Why? Because the elderly are far more prone to noncompliance due to overuse and abuse, forgetting, and altering schedules and doses.
As a parent or other loved one, it can be difficult to be available every day to monitor adherence to medications, so hiring a homecare services agency to oversee medication compliance can ensure the daily safety of your loved one. This is critical, because decreased compliance to prescribed medications almost always leads to symptoms worsening, health declining, the need for additional treatment, hospitalizations and, most drastically of all, death.
The prevalence and consequences of noncompliance are alarming:
–Approximately 125,000 Americans pass away every year due to poor medication compliance
–As many as 25 percent of hospital and nursing home admissions are due to people being unable to take their prescriptions as directed
–As many as 40 percent of people do not follow their prescribed treatments and up to 20 percent of all new prescriptions go unfulfilled
A homecare services agency can make sure loved ones avoid becoming a statistic and enable them to live happily and safely in the comfort of their own homes. Proper medication compliance involves:
–Seniors understanding which medications they are taking and why they are taking them. They must also understand that their medications need to be continued as ordered by their doctor regardless of whether they feel better. Adherence is important for every medication, but especially for high cholesterol medication, antibiotics, and high blood pressure medication.
–Ensuring medications are refilled on time and throwing out expired prescriptions. Expired medications lose their efficacy and can cause toxic side effects.
–Making sure all medications are correctly labeled. If the senior is taking several prescriptions, it may be easier to remove the pills from their containers and put them in a daily pill organizer. A homecare services agency can refill the pill organizer each week and monitor daily use.
–Establishing daily routines, such as taking the first medications of the day with morning coffee, taking midday medications at lunch, and taking evening medications before bedtime. Knowing when they need to take their medications is often one of the biggest barriers for seniors to overcome.
The bottom line? All medications must be taken as prescribed, at the dosage prescribed, at the time prescribed, and for the length of time prescribed. Some seniors can manage prescriptions themselves. If they can’t and if family members are unavailable, the easiest and most cost-effective solution may be to hire a homecare services agency to ensure safety and medication compliance.
Visit http://www.CambrianHomecare.com or call 877.422.2270 to learn more about homecare services and medication compliance.
Rhiannon Acree is the founder and president of Cambrian Homecare, an Orange County homecare services agency started in Long Beach, California in 1996. Cambrian Homecare serves Long Beach, the South Bay, Orange County, Palm Springs, Riverside, San Bernardino, and the San Gabriel Valley, employing professional caregivers that provide customized, flexible, non-medical homecare services seven days a week. Visit http://www.CambrianHomecare.com or call 877.422.2270.