Seniors take more medications than any other age demographic. Nearly half of people over the age of 65 take five or more medications, and nine out of ten take at least one prescription. During the same study, it was discovered that over half of seniors take their medications incorrectly. Unfortunately, there are several medication mistakes that someone can make, and these can lead to mild discomfort or even death. Adverse drug reactions are serious business, and in 2009, deaths related to medications mistakes were higher than from traffic fatalities.
Avoid these serious medication mistakes:
- Mixing medications that shouldn’t be mixed. Today, most people have more than one doctor or specialist that they see. Oftentimes they get their prescriptions filled at different pharmacies, creating the potential for disaster. Try to get all of your prescriptions filled at one place and regularly ask the pharmacist if he spots any prescriptions that shouldn’t be taken together.
- Medications that mix poorly with various foods. The body is an amazing machine, and sometimes, prescriptions, when taken with a certain food or drink, will cause the person to have an adverse drug reaction. For example, when someone is taking blood thinners, they should not eat foods like leafy green vegetables that are high in vitamin K.
- Overdosing is the most common medication mistake. This is most likely to happen with various painkillers available on the market, anti-anxiety, stimulants like Adderal, etc. The solution is to make sure you know precisely how much of a medication you should be taking. Write it down either on the bottle or somewhere that is accessible to you. Never take more than has been prescribed.
- Prescription medications often have similar names, making it difficult for people to tell the difference. Consider Lamictal and Lamisil (one is for epilepsy and one is for a fungal infection), and also Celebrex and Celexa (one is for arthritis and the other for depression). When a medication is taken instead of another, it can pose serious medical problems. Try sorting the pills in a pill box or other type of organizer.
Always Best Care is the nation’s leading senior caregiver with locations all over the United States and Canada. If you are a senior living in the Richmond area, and would like information about personal care in Midlothian VA or companion care in Midlothian, please call the Always Best Care Richmond location at (804) 912-5688. They look forward to talking with you!