Medication Management FAQs: Is It Safe for Me to Take Multiple Prescriptions at Once?

Seniors are living longer than ever before thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in medicine. In some cases, prescription drugs help seniors survive and thrive, even with diagnoses that once might have killed them. Eighty-seven percent of older adults take at least one prescription medication. Though these drugs can save lives, they can also cause serious medication errors, especially when a senior takes multiple drugs. Two-thirds of seniors in long-term care facilities take 10 or more prescription drugs, and 36 percent of community-dwelling seniors use five or more medications.

It is safe to take multiple prescriptions with the consent and oversight of a doctor. But the more medications a senior uses, the greater the likelihood becomes that they will make a medication error. Prescription medications can also interact with one another, causing dangerous or even deadly side effects. Here’s what you need to know.

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14 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help Managing Their Medications

Living at home for as long as possible, safely and independently, is at the top of most seniors’ priority lists. Seniors who are able to stay at home can be more comfortable and confident in their familiar surroundings. However, if your senior loved one is living at home alone or with a partner, you already know that a little extra help can go a long way. For example, a friend popping over with a home-cooked dinner can mean not only a lovely visit for your aging loved one, but also a nutritious meal.

When you stop by to visit your loved one or when you send another family member to check in with them, be sure to take a look at the pillbox. Medication management is a major challenge for most older adults, especially those living with complex medical conditions that require them to take multiple medications throughout the day.

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The Hidden Costs of Medication Non-Adherence

Seniors living today have multiple advantages over aging adults from just a few decades ago; however, those benefits sometimes come with added considerations. For example, thanks to increased support and available resources, seniors can live at home independently for far longer than in decades past. However, living at home while managing chronic pain and complex medical conditions can also be trickier than in years past.

Polypharmacy, or taking more than one type of medication at the same time, has given seniors the ability to remain healthy despite multiple medical complications. However, polypharmacy also means that some seniors’ medication lists are long and sometimes downright complicated. Unfortunately, polypharmacy can lead to negative consequences, including potentially dangerous ones.

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5 Benefits of Automatic Pill Dispensers for Medication Management

When is the last time you reviewed your senior loved one’s medication list? You may be surprised to see how many medications they take each day, each with a carefully prescribed timeline from their physician. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and you aren’t alone. A research study published in the Journals of Gerontology suggests that 46 percent of seniors aged 70-79 take at least five medications per day, and that number doesn’t include over-the-counter medicines or supplements.

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8 Reasons Why Automatic Pill Dispensers are Worth the Investment

 

Caring for a loved one can bring the two of you closer together. It can also be profoundly stressful. Caregivers receive little social support, and it takes a toll on their well-being. Nearly 60 percent of California’s Caregiver Resource Center’s clients show symptoms of depression. Another study found that 41 percent of people who cared for a spouse with Alzheimer’s had depressive symptoms. Caregiving can can even affect your physical health; seventeen percent of caregivers say their health is fair or poor, compared to just 10 percent in the general population.

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5 Medication Management Tips for Family Caregivers

Many older adults want to live at home for as long as possible, and for good reason—a comforting place full of memories can be difficult to leave. However, aging adults have to be aware of a few specific challenges that can arise when living at home independently, including managing medications. Seniors living at home, alone or with a partner, can be especially vulnerable to dangers associated with medication mismanagement.

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Top Techs and Gadgets for Seniors Aging in Place

Older adults have many options for where to live as they age. Most seniors prefer to stay at home, in the house they have loved for years, whenever possible. In fact, AARP reports that of seniors 65 and older. 87 percent desire to stay in their home and in their community as they grow older. Many older adults are able to fulfill this dream, with the Institute on Aging reporting approximately 11.3 million seniors living successfully at home alone.

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5 Critical Features to Look for in an Automated Pill Dispenser

Medication for seniors saves lives, boosts independence, and reduces pain. But for too many seniors, the burden of daily medication management is too much. Twenty percent of patients who take one medication a day are unable to follow their doctor’s medication recommendations. Among seniors taking four or more pills a day, that figure soars to 50 percent. Missed pills can cause chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes to get worse. Seniors who take too many pills can experience catastrophic health issues such as negative drug interactions, drug overdoses, and painful side effects. In addition, over or under medicating can contribute to the risk of falls, leading to a variety of other complications including broken bones, hospitalization, or the inability to call for help.

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