Give a great Holiday Gift to Your Elderly Parent- Check the medicine cabinet.
What are some signs of prescription drug abuse problems that geriatric care managers and families should look for during holiday visits? One-third of all drugs prescribed in the United States are intended for patients who are 65 or older. The risk of prescription drug abuse and addiction is a major danger in the elderly. elderly. Loneliness, chronic pain and the wide availability to get and abuse of prescription dregs make them very dangerous. Not only that poly pharmacy is all to easy two types of drugs are musts abused, pain med and psychoactive drugs for depression and anxiety . Medication problems in the elderly, which include prescription drugs abuse, stoke hospital readmission.
Symptoms can include
• Loss of coordination (walking unsteadily, frequent falls)
• Changes in sleeping habits
• Unexplained bruises
• Being unsure of yourself
• Irritability, sadness, depression
• Unexplained chronic pain
• Changes in eating habits
• Wanting to stay alone much of the time
• Failing to bathe or keep clean
• Having trouble concentrating
• Difficulty staying in touch with family or friends
• Lack of interest in usual activities.
Signs to look for
Signs of a problem include:
Requesting refills more rapidly than prescriptions permit
Having multiple prescribing physicians who are unaware of the others’ prescriptions,
Having a doctor who is unaware of certain symptoms that another specialist is treating,
What to do
Check the medicine cabinet.
1. Over-the-counter meds aren’t free of serious side effects, and those problems are often magnified when older adults mix them with alcohol.
2. Using laxatives on a regular basis can cause chronic diarrhea, leading to a sodium and potassium imbalance that can threaten your heart. Antihistamines can cause confusion, and cold medicine can cause a spike in blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke.
3. Make sure your senior knows how to safely use any OTC meds in his or her possession.
4. Are there out of date prescriptions
5. Are there prescriptions for the same drug from multiple doctors?
6. Is there prescription for the same drug from multiple pharmacies?
What to do.
7. Call a geriatric care manager after your holiday visit.You should locate one in the area where your older relative lives. Give the gift that keeps on giving, a professional to guide your elderly family member to a safer happier life.