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Why Don't Elderly People Follow Doctors Orders for Medications? 55% of Prescriptions Filled Aren't Taken Correctly
Date:5/25/2011

NAPLES, Fla., May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A common question asked by people taking care of elderly parents is: "Is it dangerous if mom forgets to take her medication, or splits pills to save money?"

Not taking medications properly can be extremely dangerous. More than 125,000 people die each year due to prescription medication non-adherence, twice the number killed in car accidents, according to the National Council for Patient Information and Education.

Here are some common reasons why seniors don't take their medications as prescribed, and what to do about it.  

Vision Problems

Not being able to read small print on labels or distinguish between pills can lead to dangerous misuse.

Solution:

  • People with vision problems should ask the pharmacist for medication labels in large print size.

Memory Loss

People with dementia or Alzheimer's disease may forget to take their medications, resulting in skipped doses or overdoses.

Solution:

  • Use a pill organizer. Available products include: computerized pill box dispensers that call a designated number if pills aren't taken, watch alarms and necklaces with audio reminders.  

Income

Elders who can't afford medications may split pills, cut back the dose, or go without for long stretches of time.  

Solutions:

  • Ask if a generic, less-expensive alternative is available.  
  • Research 

SOURCE AgingCare.com
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
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