New challenges and concerns are typically just over the horizon at any given time for older adults as the risk for injury and illness increases. As various health issues emerge, consultations with doctors and healthcare professionals often lead to recommendations for things like lifestyle changes, cutting out unhealthy behaviours and habits, and exercise programs. Prescription medications often accompany these recommendations to help restore balance, improve health, and promote independent living.
Effective medication management can improve our aging loved one’s health outcomes, reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions, and promote adherence to prescribed medication regimens.
It is common for seniors to take several different medications simultaneously to address various medical needs. Taking the medicines recommended by medical professionals may seem straightforward, but the reality for seniors can differ.
Some people have more problems with taking medications than others. Others may have more difficulty remembering all the prescriptions they are supposed to take and when. For some, the idea of taking daily medicines seems burdensome and unnecessary.
Thoughts, doubts, emotions, worries, capacities, and other obstacles can impair seniors’ ability or willingness to take the prescribed medications.
Further Resource: When Seniors Refuse Medication
Family members and caregivers must make themselves aware of the various thoughts, emotions, judgements, and limitations that may get in the way of allowing seniors to stick to their medication schedules and help seniors take proper care of themselves while respecting their points of view.
There is an array of potential cognitive, physical, and behavioural changes that seniors face as they grow older. The list of possible challenges with these changes can create barriers that deter seniors from sticking to the doctor-recommended medication regimens to keep them healthy.
- The complexity of medication regimen: Seniors who take multiple medications or have complex medication regimens may struggle to keep track of their medication schedule or accidentally skip doses.
- Physical challenges: Some seniors may have difficulty swallowing pills or opening medication bottles due to physical limitations, such as arthritis or Parkinson’s disease.
- Cognitive impairment: Seniors with cognitive impairment, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, may have trouble remembering to take their medication or understanding instructions.
- Financial barriers: Seniors with limited income or lack health insurance may need help to afford their medication or access to transportation to pick up their prescriptions.
- Side effects: Some seniors may experience uncomfortable side effects from their medication, such as nausea, dizziness, or fatigue, which can cause them to discontinue their medication.
- Lack of social support: Seniors who live alone or do not have family or friends to assist with medication management may have difficulty adhering to their medication regimen.
Some barriers exist due to emotional or judgement-based factors that lead seniors to stray from recommendations related to their medications deliberately.
Identifying and addressing these barriers is essential to help seniors successfully manage their medication and maintain good health outcomes. Once identified, care and encouragement from caregivers, loved ones, and support systems can help seniors better understand, manage, and stick to the routines and practices involved in taking their medications.
Resource: Safe Medication Management and Review
Our healthcare team will perform regular medication reviews, remove expired or out-of-date medications for safe disposal, and provide methods to ensure all medications are taken in the correct dose and at the right time, every time. If it is required, a nurse care manager (registered nurse) will be available to administer medications.
Nurse Case Managers at Promyse are compassionate and friendly and provide open and honest ongoing communication and regular re-assessments to ensure your loved one’s physical, mental, and emotional needs are taken care of.
The healthcare team at Promyse ensures seniors live safely and independently at home.