3 Reasons Older Adults Need to Talk About Medications
We spend a lot of time talking to our children and teens about the danger of drug misuse, but what about seniors? Home Instead, Inc. has recently published a study about prescription safety called “Let’s Talk about Rx”. Here’s what their research found…
1. Seniors Take a lot of Medications
57% of seniors in the survey are taking at least 4 prescriptions and 27% are taking 6 or more prescription medications daily! More medications create challenges…including keeping track of which medications they have taken and when. Cost creates even more challenge…as the number of prescription medications taken rises, according to roughly one-fourth (26%) of the survey respondents. Nearly 1 in 5 surveyed seniors experienced challenges related to cost, opening medication containers, reading/understanding directions, and/or remembering to order refills.
2. There is Cause for Concern
While a majority (53%) of surveyed seniors claim they know how to properly dispose of outdated/unused medications, 4 out of 10 (39%) reportedly have disposed of them inappropriately. 1 out of 10 reportedly do not take meds as directed and 1 out of 10 has unintentionally made a mistake when taking medications…of those making a mistake, 11% have experienced a medical issue or emergency as a result. Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) surveyed seniors feels overwhelmed at least occasionally by the medications they are taking.
3. Most Likely It’s Already Crossed Their Mind
Half of the seniors surveyed said that most seniors don’t want to burden their family with potential medication issues but most are aware of the problems. A majority (77%; 66% of those age 80+) of seniors surveyed overall agreed that the ability to remain independent depends on one’s ability to manage a complicated medication regimen.