Older adults are the largest users of prescription medication and also the most vulnerable to adverse reactions. In the US, an estimated 3 million older adults are admitted to nursing homes due to drug-related problems at an estimated annual cost of more than $14 billion. Approximately 30% of hospital admissions of older adults are drug related.
There is a wide variety of factors that place community-dwelling older adults at risk for problems in medication management. After 75, seniors find it more challenging to adhere to complicated medication regimens. Those that live alone are found to be more prone to medication errors. Physical impairments such as poor vision, grip strength, and cognitive decline can contribute to medication errors.
Studies of older adults’ knowledge of medications have found more than 50% knew the names and purpose of their medications; however, less than 25% knew the consequences of drug omission or toxic side effects. At Coronado Retirement Village Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, medication technicians can manage the seniors’ portfolio of medications. Complicated dosing instructions are easily managed and adherence to consistent dosing is improved preventing hospitalizations due to nonadherence. Coronado Retirement Village received three “Golden Med Room” awards and grade A for excellence because of perfect medication management.
Monitoring medication adherence is an ongoing process. Make sure you are taking advantage of any help available.