Because seniors typically take anywhere from 15 to 18 different prescriptions
on any given day, it isn't hard to see how errors and skipped doses can occur, but were you aware of the health risks that happen because of those missed or incorrect doses? Enter the creation of the pill organizer: a simple way to organize medications by placing them each within the correct slots for the different days or times of the day. Problem sorted out, right?
actually points to a far different outcome. Older persons comfortable with taking medications straight from the original packaging who changed to a pill organizer were overloaded with health issues, including falls, hypoglycemia, and in one case, an individual unable to get out of the tub until eventually a rescue 12 hours later.
The research involved 29 aging adults over age 75 who were not using pill organizers and were, unintentionally, not taking their prescriptions as directed by their physicians. For 60 days, half of the seniors began using a pill organizer, while the other half continued taking their prescriptions as they always had.
Interestingly, it was the seniors who had begun to use pill organizers (who hadn't previously used them) who were the ones to experience health concerns. The theory behind these results was that the seniors were skipping doses or taking their prescriptions incorrectly prior to using the pill organizer, and were then having to deal with negative effects from taking full doses of their medications after using the pill organizer.
Lead researcher Dr. Debi Bhattacharya stresses the need for those getting ready to change to a pill organizer to first discuss with their physician or pharmacist to verify dosage amounts. And she explains, “People who are already using a pill organizer without any ill effects should not stop using it as they do seem to help some patients take their medication as prescribed. It's the switching stage which appears to be the danger."
Cascade Companion Care
of Arlington, WA can help with medication reminders to confirm aging adults take prescriptions when they are supposed to, can help with transportation to get prescriptions, and assist with noting any negative medication effects that can be reported to the physician immediately. Give us a call at 425-361-0044 for critical assistance with keeping your senior loved one safe and healthy.