The Dangers of Aging and Medication Non-Adherence

medication adherenceWith most seniors requiring multiple medications, often prescribed by multiple doctors, it’s easy for mistakes to occur in taking those meds correctly. But surprisingly, as many as 30% of prescriptions are never even filled, according to new information on the costs and benefits of adhering to a medication regime, released by Dr. Bill Elliott, an internist at Kaiser Novato and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSF.

This new study also shows that the majority of patients who are prescribed medications for chronic diseases either take less than they are prescribed or stop taking the medicine altogether after about six months. Also, less than half of patients on medication for high blood pressure adhere to their long-term treatment plan.

Improper medication adherence is an increasing problem in America, and one that is particularly hazardous for older adults. Many seniors are prescribed three or more daily medications, and not taking them can lead to a decline in overall health. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that medication nonadherence results in up to 50% of chronic disease treatment failures, and as many as 125,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

Hillendale Home Care starts with a free RN assessment and creation of an individualized care plan for each of our clients, and our caregivers are available to provide medication reminders, transportation to doctors’ appointments, and more to ensure the health and wellbeing of your elderly loved one. Call us at 925-933-8181, or fill out our simple online contact form to learn how we can help your loved one stay safe and well cared for at home.