For many seniors, medication is their lifeline to good health and well-being. The problem is that there is a high percentage of these elderly patients who are considered ‘non compliant’ with their medication, meaning that they do not take their prescribed medications as directed. This can create a host of problems and it can also place an undue burden on the senior care provider.
Make no mistake, if you are a family member who is providing senior home services for your elderly loved one or you’re a home care aide, you most likely don’t have training or certification or licensing to administer medications. This means that legally you can’t even hand the elderly individual their medication to take. You can certainly remind them that it’s time, but beyond that, if they don’t want to or still forget, there’s not much you can do.
55% of elderly individuals are consider ‘non compliant’ when it comes to taking their medications. 200,000 older adults end up in the hospital due to reactions to drugs, or because they didn’t take them properly.
There are a few reasons why seniors could be non compliant. The first has to do with vision problems. If the seniors has trouble seeing clearly, then he or she might not be able to read the bottle clearly. If they have blurred vision, they may ‘guess’ as to what it says on the bottle, especially if they forget when or how much they were supposed to take.
You, as the senior care provider, may be able to request larger print bottles or labels for the senior to make it easier for them to read.
Another potential problem is memory loss. If the senior forgets, even if they use pill organizers, then the senior care services provider can certainly remind them to take their medication. This can be done by phone call or in person. If the caregiver calls to remind the patient, though, they need to make sure that the patient knows what day and time it is so that they take the right set of medications.
Finally, income can often be cited as a reason for non compliance. If the elderly individual can’t afford their medication, they’re more likely to not bother filling the prescription.
In this case, the senior care provider may be able to help the elderly patient find other resources to help pay for their necessary medications. Contacting the doctor, insurance provider, or Medicare representative may help to find ways to cover these potentially life-saving medications.
If you have an aging loved one who needs professional elderly care, or are considering home care services for yourself call Harmony Home Health and talk to our care staff. They will be attentive to your situation, and provide clear and immediate options to help you deal with the difficulties you face. Harmony Home Health provides services for the greater Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado Counties including: Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Roseville, Cameron Park, Placerville and surrounding areas. For more information and a FREE assessment CALL (916) 414-9100.