This past April, two celebrities passed away. Former female wrestler, Chyna (Joan Laurer) died of an apparent accidental overdose of prescription drugs. There is also a possibility that rocker, Prince’s death may have involved prescription medications as well. Who knows how many others have died or been affected by medication mismanagement.
In the U.S., billions of prescriptions are written each year. Out of five patients, four will leave a doctor visit with one or more prescriptions. Adherence to properly taking medication is not always a priority and can result in a poor outcome in recovery and possibly the need for more medical treatment or hospitalization. The net result would probably be an increase in medical expenses, as costs for medical treatment could exceed the cost of the medication.
About 80% of medical treatments today involve medication. Maximizing medication benefits for an individual is an important aspect in the success of treating a medical condition. With some conditions, individuals have to take several medications and unfortunately some medications can have an interaction with other medications. When a physician prescribes new medications for a patient, the new dosage or a reaction with another medication could cause dizziness, resulting in a fall or injury. Missing doses of medication could cause problems with their disease by causing it to worsen. Sometimes, an individual sees several physicians and multiple prescriptions may be given. In this case, a patient could be susceptible to accidental drug interactions.
Medication mismanagement could also occur by a patient taking their medication at the wrong time of the day. The individual could be taking a night time medication (one that may cause drowsiness) in the morning, increasing their risk of fall or getting into an accident. Nutrition and hydration are also important. Some medications need to be taken with food, or the patient may become nauseated and vomit. Excessive vomiting without hydration could lead to dehydration.
Living alone, impaired vision, age, memory, physical ability, cognitive abilities, having multiple medications and non-adherence by choice can all be factors in the mismanagement of an elderly person’s medications. Proper management of medication is valuable in attaining improved health goals and reducing health care costs. Medication management can be a part of SYNERGY HomeCare of Orange California’s care plan for an individual. That, accompanied with personal assistance help may keep an individual out of the hospital and at home, where they want to be.