Many Senior Citizens need help organizing and storing their medications. As we age, many of us develop chronic health problems that require daily medication. According to the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, about 1/3 of elderly adults take 8 or more prescriptions a day! That is a lot of pills to remember, and a lot of pill bottles. Additionally as we age, our body changes and it can affect the way that certain medicines are absorbed and used. Because of this, there is an increased chance of unwanted or harmful drug interactions. There are drug to drug interactions-when two drugs interact with each other, and cause unwanted side effects. There are also drug to condition interaction, where a condition that you are already have, such as asthma can be worsened by a medication. Senior Citizens need help organizing and storing their medications so that these interactions do not occur.
There are many reasons that seniors have trouble with their medications. Studies have shown that while the seniors understand why they are taking the medications, memory problems or depression can cause them to forget to take them on schedule or discontinue all together especially if their symptoms improve. Sometimes they don’t agree with the Doctor and do not want to take the medicine prescribed. Whatever the reason, it is always important to take all medications on schedule, as directed by their doctor or their symptoms could worsen, or in extreme cases, result in death. According to an analysis done by the Baltimore Sun, up to half of all Seniors misuse at least one medication, which contributes to 23 % of nursing home admissions.
There are many ways to help seniors with their medication challenges. If there is a good support system, then it is always a good idea to have a family member accompany all Senior Citizens to the Doctors office. It is also important that the Doctor be informed of the entire medical history of the Senior citizen, including all prescription and over the counter medications. Have the doctor go over the look of each medication so that the Senior Citizen can recognize each medication. Write down all dosages and the dosing schedule. It is also a good idea to organize your medications at home. You should keep written instructions and medication inserts. And always keep medications in a cool dry place away from light and sunlight. And, it is a good idea to keep medicines locked and away from children and pets.