Medications are an essential part of life for many seniors, helping them stay healthy while managing chronic conditions. But, making mistakes when taking medications can lead to serious, life threatening, ramifications. So, it is important that both seniors and their caregivers do all that they can to avoid making medication mistakes.
Medication errors by the elderly may be more common than you think, one of the most common and severe mistakes is overdosing. Overdoses are the number one cause of medication-related fatalities. Taking too much medication all at once, or a steady build up over time is concerning. Bad drug interactions is another one. Certain medications are dangerous when taken together or when combined with alcohol and/or certain foods. Seniors may forget about interactions they need to steer clear from. Along with this comes med mix-ups, some medications look similar or carry similar names to one another, making it possible for seniors to confuse one drug for the other. This can lead to overdose, missed dosages and dangerous interactions. Poor vision and bad memory can also lead to medication issues. Not being able to read labels clearly or failing to take pills regularly can become dangerous.
As a caregiver for an elderly person, you become an advocate in helping to avoid medication errors. Be sure that labels are correct for proper handling. Pill organizers are a good way to prevent mistakes, you can fill these on a weekly or monthly basis for your loved one. If you are around your senior twenty-four hours a day, remind them when it’s time to take their pills. If you cant physically be there, set a reminder for them or offer a quick phone call to keep them on track. If you have concerns about medications or effects they could be causing, speak with you doctor and/or pharmacist.