Why Don’t Seniors Take All Their Medications

As we age we are prescribed medications to help us maintain our health. On average seniors are prescribed 7 medications to take daily. Understanding each of these medications and remembering to take them is a lot of information! Seniors can get easily confused and take their medication improperly or forget to take it all together. Over half of seniors who take medication make some mistake that could ultimately have serious consequences. In fact, 10% of hospital admissions are a result of mistaking medication.
What are some reasons why seniors don’t take their medications?
All too often seniors don’t understand why they are prescribed or the importance of taking a medication. Due to this and other reasons, seniors often decide not to or forget to take their medication. Some other reasons they don’t take their medications include:

  • Seniors don’t think they need the medication. A lot of seniors are set in their ways and think because they have been okay for years without medication they don’t need to take it.
  • The side effects of their medication are too great. Many medications come with side effects which include loss of appetite or dry mouth. These side effects can be frustrating enough for seniors to stop taking their medications.
  • They are fast to give up on medications which they don’t believe are working and can convince themselves they are better off without them.
  • Memory loss or other issues make them forget to take their medication.
  • The cost of their medication is a burden which they can’t justify paying for or they cut back on doses to reduce the cost.

How can you encourage seniors to take their medications?
To help your loved one from making mistakes with their medication try using some of these tips.

  • Organize
    Use a medication reminder and/or pill organizer to help with the proper dose and timing. Health & Comfort offers a solution which allows you to customize to your loved ones treatment program by sounding an alarm when a dose is due.
  • Explain
    Offer your loved one a clear explanation of their medications and why they are needed. Be sure to explain the name of the medication, the cost, any possible side effects, how it works, proper dosage, and any dangerous interactions with foods or drinks.
  • Remind
    Family & caregivers are the most effective medication reminders. Encourage your loved one to take medications at the same time each day before another daily activity like brushing teeth.
  • Ask Questions
    If your loved one is confused have them ask their doctor questions. Make sure their doctor is aware of any over the counter medications which are taken in conjunction with their other medications.
  • Eating
    Ensure your loved one is consuming a balanced diet. Note which medications require an empty stomach and which should be taken with food.
The inability to administer their own medications often leads to seniors being admitted into nursing homes. Health & Comfort is able to provide our clients with extra assistance in making sure your loved one is taking the medications they were prescribed, while staying in the comfort of their own home. We also offer a medication dispensing management solution for those still wanting to do it themselves.