Seniors and Medication Non-Compliance

The American Heart Association indicates that non-compliance with medication prescriptions is the number one problem in treating and managing illnesses.  Studies report that 89,000 deaths and $100,000,000,000 in unnecessary hospitalization costs occur per year from this problem.

The World Health Organization estimates that only about 50% of patients in developed countries with chronic diseases—most of whom are seniors—actually follow their medication prescriptions.

Assistance with medication is critical for some seniorsUnfortunately, at Support For Home Health Care, we see this problem all too frequently in the elders who comprise the majority of our clients / patients.  To address this critical problem, we have developed a program model that has made a positive difference.

There are many reasons for this, including depression, dementia, brain trauma or the physical inability to take medications at the proper times and in the proper doses.  Quite often, it boils down to the inability to manage the medication prescribed.

With multiple prescriptions for multiple chronic conditions, as is frequently the case with the “medically complex senior,” assistance with medication, in the home, is a critical factor in complying with clinicians’ prescriptions.

The goal of Assisted Medication Management is to provide the client with safe and proper administration of all medications.  Services are to be provided by a Registered Nurse who specializes in pharmacy.

What does Assisted Medication Management comprise?

1.  The RN will ask the client for any allergies related to foods, medications, or the environment.

2. The RN will read each label on vials of medication, reviewing drug, route, frequency, date last filled, prescribing physician and the pharmacy.

3. RN will explain to the client and / or appropriate family   member(s) the usage and the  indications of each medication, dosage, class of drug, when and how to take medication, contra-indications, black box/FDA warnings, laboratory monitoring and any other significant information about the medication.

4.  Potential side effects of each medication will be discussed with the patient and / or family member(s).

5.  A written Medication Profile will be provided by the RN.

6.  RN will call prescribing physician if there is any duplication of the same class of medications by multiple physicians.

7.  RN will call pharmacy for refills if they are appropriate.

8.  RN will speak with the Pharmacist if there are any questions or concerns noted by RN or doctors with whom the RN has discussed the medications prescribed.

9.  Arrangements can be made to have pill boxes filled with the   appropriate doses of medication on a weekly or bi-weekly basis by an RN.

10.  Arrangements can be made for a professional caregiver to help ensure compliance by providing timely  medication reminders and monitoring.

11.  Arrangements can be made to work with a local pharmacy that  provides free delivery of most medications.

12.  Arrangements can be made to have local pharmacy “bubble pack” the medications so they can be    given / taken at proper times during the full day.  Local pharmacies track the medications and refill the medication automatically. This is usually  a free service by the local pharmacy.

13.  The RN can accompany the client to doctors’ appointments to discuss medications and usage, as well as any concerns that require clinical communication to the Primary Care Physician or any other (specialty) physician.

Proper adherence to medication prescriptions is absolutely vital, especially for seniors.  We are doing everything we can to ensure those that need help get it.

Your thoughts?

Best wishes.  Bert


One response to “Seniors and Medication Non-Compliance

  1. Pingback: Seniors and Medication Non-Compliance | StayHealthy - Synecticsworld's Healthcare Practice |

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