Good health for older adults often depends on the ability to take various medicines daily. Older adults are among the heaviest consumers of prescription and over-the-counter medicines and can suffer severe, debilitating reactions if medicines aren't taken correctly. Medication Management is learning how and when to take the up to 8-10 medicines many older adults consume regularly. Adherence to medication management means the older adult has the physical, cognitive and organizational capacity to maintain a medication regimen, often with the help of a clinical nurse or family member.
Complicating factors to medication management adherence are:
The number of medications (Those taking 6 or more drugs per day are likely to visit the emergency room and be re-admitted within six months).
Prescription drugs from different providers interacting and having a negative health effect.
Patients cognitive ability to understand the reasons for taking the medications, and remembering when and how much to take.
Taking expired medications.
Over-dosing on over-the-counter medications.
The reality is after discharge from the hospital people often need a battery of medications to recover and control chronic disease. It is in the patient's best interest to have a coordinated approach among caregivers, physicians and family members so a healthier outcome can be achieved over the longest period of time.