10 tips for home medication management for seniors
Drug-related problems are common in older adults and include drug ineffectiveness, adverse drug effects, overdosage, underdosage, inappropriate treatment, inadequate monitoring, nonadherence, and drug interactions. (See also Overview of Drug Therapy in Older Adults.
Box 1 Guidelines for good prescribing in elderly patients
4 Medication Safety Tips for Older Adults
Barriers to effective medication management among older adults include cognitive impairment, poor vision, and financial burden.
Among them are an older age, a low level of education, the possibility of side effects during pharmacotherapy, problems with memory or poor cognition, low socioeconomic status (unaffordability of medications), and the lack of proper instruction on the use of medicines from the health care professionals.
Diphenhydramine and amitriptiline are the most common inappropriately prescribed medications with high risk adverse events while propoxyphene and doxazoxin are the most commonly prescribed medications with low risk adverse events.
Below are the top 10 medications prescribed to elderly Americans.
STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Persons’ Prescriptions) and START (Screening Tool to Alert to Right Treatment) are criteria used as a tool for clinicians to review potentially inappropriate medications in older adults and have been endorsed as a best practice by some organizations.
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are common in older adults, with falls, orthostatic hypotension, delirium, renal failure, gastrointestinal and intracranial bleeding being amongst the most common clinical manifestations.
Always assess the patient’s drug-related needs in the same systematic order. First determine if the indication is appropriate for the drug therapy. Second, evaluate the effectiveness of the drug regimen for the indication. Third, determine the level of safety of the drug regimen.
What Older Adults Can Do to Manage Medications
Here are four nursing interventions that can improve medication adherence. How Nursing Interventions Fill a Vital Need for Medication
Safely managing medications is essential for senior health That’s why medication management for seniors is so important. Putting a simple system in place and taking care of the basics helps seniors avoid common medication mistakes like taking the wrong drug, missing doses, or taking more than prescribed.
Patient-related factors: Physical impairments and cognitive limitations may increase the risk for nonadherence in older adults. Lack of knowledge about the disease and the reasons medication is needed, lack of motivation, low self-efficacy, and substance abuse are associated with poor medication adherence.
The barriers identified mapped to the following 10 domains: knowledge; skills; social/professional roles and identity; beliefs about capability; beliefs about consequences; intentions; memory, attention and decision process; environmental contexts and resources; social influences; emotions.