We wish all seniors and caregivers a “Spirit of Life”
full of respect, dignity, love, and joy.
*The Challenges of Drug Therapy And Seniors*
Why Medications are Given:
- To assist a patient who is for some reason unable to maintain an acceptable state of health.
- Sometimes medications can be used to totally eradicate a problem but often at this stage they are used to sustain or maintain tolerable functionality in daily life.
- Patients older than 65 years experience a drug error rate nearly seven times greater than those younger than 65.
- Increase in the number of prescribed drugs makes it increasingly difficult to monitor side effects.
- Diminished memory often accompanied with normal aging process increases the likelihood of medication errors.
- Diseases common in the elderly often include symptoms like confusion and the inability to effectively verbalize feelings. Therefore, with a limited ability to relate ones feelings sometimes adverse side effects are lost. The confusion makes it difficult to know if the side effects are the result of disease or a particular course of drug therapy.
Help draw up a written schedule of daily drugs.
Containers dividing doses.
Pill crushers/cutter to make it easier to take drugs.
Alarms set to take drugs at regular times each day.
Be alert to any behavioral changes.
Lastly, keep in mind that as a caregiver you know your loved one better than anyone else. If you are worried or see reactions that are not normal for your loved one, follow your heart and notify your doctor. It may turn out to be the better dosage for the time being.
What Can Be Done?
There must be involvement and a concerted effort by the following people:
Drug Information Resources