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Medication compliance and management for seniors

Anneliese Peterson | Mar 21, 2021

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The main reason individuals take medication is to improve quality of life. However, if you are not feeling well or taking multiple medications, remembering to take the right medications at the right times can be difficult. If medications aren't taken properly, quality of life does not improve, and in many cases, it declines. Taking medication on time, as well as complying with prescriptions, is always important, but even more so in times when family members may not be able to assist in daily activities. How can seniors ensure they are taking the medication they need, especially now?

This is where medication management comes in. Medication management can assist in getting the right prescriptions to the right individuals and ensure they are taken at the right time. But there’s a whole lot more to medication management…

What is medication management?

Medication management is a service designed to help individuals manage their medications so they take them on time, all the time, and avoid the dangers of incorrect medication administration. This service is often used in assisted living settings and senior living communities. (You may also see the terms "medication adherence," which is the act of filling prescriptions, and "medication compliance," which is the act of taking medication as prescribed, according to Cureatr.)

For some people, simply using an over-the-counter reminder device is sufficient in making sure they take their medications as prescribed, but for others, more advanced and consistent reminders and help are necessary. In many assisted living settings, residents receive medication management services from trained licensed and unlicensed teams to ensure all prescriptions are filled on time and all medications are taken correctly on a daily basis.

Why use medication management?

The Importance of Medication ManagementAccording to research, non-adherence to proper medication administration has a drastic impact on overall healthcare costs and wellbeing.

  • It is estimated that on average, 50% of patients in the U.S. do not take their medications correctly, and nearly 33% never fill their first prescription at all
  • An average of 700,000 people experience adverse reactions to their medications that land them in the emergency room
  • Patients failing to take their medications properly is estimated to cost a whopping $290 billion per year

Expert medical personnel who help individuals manage medications contribute to an individual’s improved quality of life, as well as ensure a person's safety. Medication management services contribute to:

  • Improved patient use and administration of all medications
  • Improved percentage of patients meeting their healthcare goals
  • Reduced side effects and duplication, as well as drug interactions, of all medications
  • Decreased medical costs in the form of fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to incorrect dosing or neglecting to take prescribed medications

Benefits of medication management

Senior placing pills into a containerAs America's older population continues to grow, the need for quality medication management services does too. It is an important tool for ensuring the health of these individuals as well as managing their healthcare costs. Benefits of providing medication management for this population include:

  • Better outcomes for older adults
  • Less stress for the patients and their families; everyone can be comfortable knowing medications are being distributed and taken correctly
  • Less money spent on related healthcare costs such as emergency room visits and hospital stays
  • Reduced illnesses and deaths due to medication noncompliance or drug interactions

Whether someone neglects to take their medications properly because they forget or think they don't need it, the fact is that failing to do so can lead to serious consequences. Through medication management, individuals get the medications they need, on time, every single day. Their quality of life improves immensely and everyone involved is able to worry less about the health of their loved ones.

Medication management is a helpful tool used in many senior living communities to ensure individuals are able to lead a healthy, happy, full life. If you or your loved one are concerned about medication compliance and management, especially during times when assisting with daily activities may not be realistic, please reach out to learn how we can help. Our communities are safe, and our team members are committed to caring for residents like family. We are here for you.