Taking Your Medication Properly

As we get older, our failing health requires us to have to take more and more medication. All of these changes can be confusing and can result in missing regular dosage which can cause serious problems with a person’s health. Combine this with the challenge of vision or memory problems and the situation can become disastrous.

With approximately 22% of our seniors taking more than 50 medications per year, it should not be surprising that this is a cause of death among many of our elderly. Many cannot identify which medications they are supposed to take. This can lead to increased hospital visits, overdoses and a higher need for elderly care centers to monitor the medication.

These flaws in the system are directly related to increased health care costs for us all. Insurance companies estimate that non-compliance of medications can result in a $100 billion strain on the U.S. healthcare system.

The Causes

Skipping doses or having infrequent doses of medication. This can be the result of simple forgetfulness or trying to spread out the length of time a dose lasts.

Cost. Sometimes, when a senior is on a fixed income, it comes down to buying medication or eating for the month. Some medications, such as diabetes, can cost up to $3000/month. This will result in up to $600 out of pocket expenses for this single medication to a senior on Medicare.

Stopping medication when the symptoms disappear. This potentially deadly behavior is the typical reason seniors end up in the hospital. The drugs can have invisible effects on the senior who believes they are doing anything for them.

Overdose. If the dosage or use of the drug is complex, this can lead to overdosing if you don’t remember when it was last taken. This can be just as dangerous as not taking the drug when you are supposed to.

Misuse of taking medications can lead up to 125,000 deaths per year in the United States. If you feel that a loved one may need assistance or help taking their medications, contact Kabb Law at 216-991-KABB (5222).