If you or an elderly loved one takes more than one or two prescription medications on a regular basis, you know how difficult it can be to keep the schedules straight. When you get to the end of a bottle of pills, how often does it correspond exactly with the last dosage appointment? The problem of irregular prescription doses can be compounded when family members are assisting an elderly person.
Medication Noncompliance Rates
Quest Diagnostics recently did a study to find out what percentage of the prescription-using public does not follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter. The number came back at 63 percent—surprisingly high, considering the fact that many medications are essential for the life of patients. Researchers studied a group of nearly 76,000 people, from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages. They conducted a urine test on each subject, then compared the results with their current prescriptions to see if they matched.
Reasons for Noncompliance
Of course, a common reason for failing to take the right pills at the right times is simple forgetfulness by a senior or a family member. Other reasons are more serious, though: Some errors in the study were due to a patient’s illiteracy or inability to understand the instructions. Even worse, some patients appear to have sold their prescriptions illegally in order to get much-needed money.
How Home Health Care in Rancho Bernardo Can Help
As in any area, home healthcare agencies in Rancho Bernardo should do everything possible to keep their clients safe and healthy. This includes double-checking prescriptions, communicating clearly with seniors and family members, and keeping a sharp eye out for mistakes. A missed dose might occur easily, but it can quickly lead to a serious health emergency.
Originally posted 2012-05-07 16:30:15.