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
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.
Not being able to read small print on labels or distinguish
between pills can lead to dangerous misuse.
- People with
vision problems should ask the pharmacist for medication labels
in large print size.
People with dementia or
Alzheimer’s disease may forget to take their medications,
resulting in skipped doses or overdoses.
- 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.
Elders who can’t afford medications may split pills, cut back
the dose, or go without for long stretches of time.
- Ask if a generic, less-expensive alternative is available.