The Hidden Dangers of Overmedication among Senior Adults

How Much is Too Much Medication for Seniors?

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For caregivers, knowledge and communication are invaluable tools when caring for elderly adults with pain, degenerative conditions or chronic illnesses. Creating a safe environment for an elderly adult includes proper medication management. It is not uncommon for seniors to receive care from multiple physicians or specialists and to be prescribed multiple medications from each practitioner. However, with this comes an increased risk of dangerous medication combinations, medication dependency or improper dosing without closely watched medication management.

An in-home caregiver in Grand Rapids can be very helpful in these situations by not only setting and monitoring medications reminders, but by also escorting your elderly loved one to appointments in order to keep track of all medications, dosages and doctor instructions. Listed below are some of the dangers associated with an increase in medication.

Polypharmacy Dangers
It is estimated that more than 100,000 elderly people die each year from polypharmacy or overmedication. Polypharmacy typically affects people who are over the age of 65 and who are taking more than four different medications. Contributing factors include a slowed metabolism and an increased likelihood of dangerous drug interactions due to an increase in prescribed medications.

Dementia or Overmedication?
Certain drug interactions cause the same memory loss associated with diseases such as dementia, depression and even Alzheimer’s, possibly resulting is a mistaken diagnosis. The good news is that medication-induced dementia is reversible with proper medical help. It is also beneficial to get help from one of the dementia caregivers in Grand Rapids at Home Care Assistance, all of whom are expertly trained in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method which is designed to increase brain health and cognitive vitality.

OTC Medication Omission
Another factor to consider is a senior’s tendency to omit mentioning their use of over the counter medications when consulting with their doctors or pharmacists. Live-in caregivers in Grand Rapids, MI, can help to prevent this issue by keeping a detailed list of all of the medications a senior adult is taking along with their exact dosages, for both over-the-counter and prescribed medications. The list should be reviewed regularly with the elderly adult’s doctor and/or pharmacist, especially whenever adding a new medication. Once reviewed, doctors may decide that certain medications are no longer medically necessary.

As you can see, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance can prove to be an invaluable asset to seniors who need help monitoring medications. Furthermore, our caregivers are able to help with a variety of daily tasks, from cooking and cleaning to mobility support and transportation assistance. For more information on how an hourly or 24/7 in-home caregiver could help your aging loved one, call Grand Rapids Home Care Assistance today at 616-243-0835.