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Healthcare Businesses Explore Innovative Ways to Provide Safe Home Medication Management

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This Month in Family Caregiver News: The Costs of Medication Mismanagement

Family members who care for an aging loved one can often feel isolated or alone. A caregiving role is an exhausting one, and feelings of anxiety, sadness, and even shame can creep in quickly, keeping family caregivers from sharing their struggles or asking for help. Fortunately, caregivers can find information and encouragement on the internet.

Here are a few articles from this month that could provide you with tools, resources, and feelings of support.

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The Real Cost of Medication Nonadherence [Infographic]

Medication nonadherence is a growing concern in the United States. Unfortunately, those who are most susceptible to medication nonadherence are senior citizens with complex medication regimens. For caregivers, it is more important than ever to know the statistics behind adherence, the role it plays in the well-being of your loved ones, and what you can do to increase the likelihood that they are taking their medications as prescribed.

We’ve created a handy infographic to help you sift through all of this information and equip you with actionable insights to facilitate a discussion about medication management with your loved ones.

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Why Home Medication Adherence has Become Everyone's Business

 

Providers, pharmacies, insurers, patients and families all agree that better medication adherence can improve care and reduce costs.  The numbers are striking:

  • Non-adherence can account for up to 50% of treatment failures, around 125,000 deaths, and up to 25% of hospitalizations each year in the United States contributing $100 billion in preventable costs1,2 
  • Despite existing efforts, adherence rates lag around 50% when it is broadly recognized that 80% adherence is considered clinically important.

With a mutual commitment to innovation and teamwork, everyone in the healthcare ecosystem can enjoy the financial, safety and quality of life benefits that will result from improved medication adherence.

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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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How to Talk Your Parents About Medication Management

Seniors living at home independently or with a partner are fortunate to have resources and specially tailored supports readily available to keep them at home for as long as possible. Thanks to friendly neighbors and nearby family members, seniors living at home can benefit from phone call check-ins and drop-by visits. However, what happens when you begin to notice medication concerns during your time in your loved one’s apartment? It can be difficult to begin the conversation about your worries surrounding medication management, but bringing the subject up could potentially save a life.

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Are Automatic Pill Dispensers Right for You or Your Loved One?

Have you ever wondered if there is an easier way to manage the medications you or your loved one are currently taking? After all, between keeping the medication schedule straight and simply remembering to take them, managing your medications can feel like a serious chore. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake with prescription or over-the-counter medications, the consequences can be serious or even deadly.

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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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