One of the tasks that can become more challenging for older adults is managing the medications they are prescribed. Some of the reasons for this may include:
- Taking multiple medications
- Side effects
- High prescription costs
- Complicated insurance coverage
- Impaired mobility
- Diminished vision, hearing, or memory
Taking multiple medications increases the risk of poor adherence, drug interactions, and other adverse events that may contribute to hospitalizations, increased duration of illness, nursing home placement, and falls and fractures. Older adults are about four to seven times more likely than younger persons to experience adverse events that result in a hospital admission.
Non-adherence affects as many as 50% of patients taking medications for the management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, and is thought to be responsible for at least 100,000 preventable deaths per year.
Unfortunately, adult children or other loved ones may not live nearby and/or may not have the time or knowledge to assist the older adults they care about.