One of the leading causes of death in Americans over 65 is medication errors. And while this is alarming, there’s really no definite answer to why so many medication errors happen. But we can take a look at factors that may contribute to this.
Why Are There So Many Medication Errors?
Seniors take numerous medications with different dosages and complex administration instructions. In addition, they might also be prescribed new medications that are unfamiliar to them, not to mention that mental acuity decreases with age.
When seniors get discharged from the hospital, some of their doctor’s instructions may confuse them. Some suffer from multiple medical conditions, resulting in different medication types that need to be taken at other times.
Due to these numerous medications that need to be administered, the probabilities of committing a mistake and adverse reactions increase. As more and more medications are developed to provide better care for the elderly, managing these medications becomes more essential.
The Role of Home Health Care Nurses
Home health care nurses are leading the change for better medication management. They help older adults effectively manage medications so they can just focus on enjoying their life. Home care agencies have developed programs that help clients manage their medications, providing better social benefits and economic savings. These programs have been recognized by insurance companies, Medicaid, and Medicare.
These medication management programs have provided dramatically improved results for the elderly. It reduces hospitalizations and increases overall health and wellbeing. With that said, home care agencies have played a major role in making this program happen significantly. It has miraculously improved the quality of our elderly’s life cost-effectively.
The Medication Management Program
A home health nurse will come to the elderly’s home to do an assessment, including listing all medications, dosage, and administration instructions. Then, the home care nurse will create a health plan sent to your primary physician. The physician will verify the accuracy of these medications and their administration.
Once verified, the home care nurse will be coming to the elderly’s house daily or weekly to set up and administer medications correctly. A personal care worker may also remind the elderly of their medications or a pill dispenser alerts when it’s time to take their medications. Any changes in the senior’s medications will also be shared with their primary care physician and likewise, the physician will share any changes with the home care agency.
Medication management is a challenging task for most elderly, especially those with reduced mental acuity as they age. Therefore, it is up to us to help them manage this task and let them enjoy life to the fullest in medication management programs and more. That is just one of the many ways we can take care of our elderly, and more programs that address elderly concerns should be developed in the future.
At Gateway Home Health, we provide quality home-based patient care in Denver and Colorado Springs. Our clinicians and therapists always strive to do better than what is expected of us. We advocate proper patient care from beginning to end, with the full benefits of individualized medical, physical, and emotional care. Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help.