Causes of Medication Error in the Elderly


576px-Elderly_Couple_-_Brasov_-_RomaniaIt isn’t hard to imagine that as we get older, we take more medication. In fact, a recent study found that 40 percent of seniors over the age of 65 take five or more medications daily. Even more take at least one prescription medication every day. Unfortunately, it was discovered that 55 percent of seniors take their medications in a manner that is unsafe. This may be due to failing cognition, or it may be due to medication error on the part of medical staff.

Here are five medication errors that you can help your elderly loved one avoid.

  1. Too Much

In many cases, an elderly person forgets that they already took their medication and takes more. This is the number one cause of medication error in the elderly and can prove to be fatal.

  1. Confusing One with Another

Another mistake common among the elderly is confusing one medication with another. This is common with medications that are named similarly or begin with the same letter. A daily medication organizer can help prevent your elderly loved one from this type of confusion.

  1. Interactions

Your loved one’s medical provider should ask about any medications that their patient is currently on. A failure to do so amounts to neglect. Even if your loved one cannot remember the name of their pills, the doctor should do their absolute best to determine what they are.

  1. Food and Drug Interactions

Food and drug interactions are another thing that can be prevented when a medical professional takes the time to talk with their patients. Your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist should clearly explain any possible interactions with the medication they are issuing.

  1. Administration

There are tablets that are made to be sub-lingual, those that are made to be swallowed, and even those that are delivered as a suppository. When a medication is taken incorrectly, serious consequences can ensue.

Some medication errors are the fault of the patient, and others can be blamed on a medical professional. If your loved one has become injured or ill due to a medication error and you believe the fault lies with medical staff, please call our offices today. A member of our team will provide you with a free case evaluation. Call now.

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