Many seniors find themselves in a bind when it comes to taking their medications. While prescription drugs can make a healthy and productive lifestyle possible, they’re also associated with side effects that can change over time in unexpected ways. That leaves us with the question, how do medications affect the elderly? The effects vary from person to person fairly widely, depending on the drug, the individual’s physical condition, and the environment. In other words, it’s very difficult to predict. Fortunately, if you provide care for an aging loved one, there are some common medication issues you can look out for to ensure the health and safety of the family member under your care.
Age may weaken the efficiency of the liver, slowing metabolism. Many seniors need to reduce the dosages of certain medications to accommodate this gradual change and ensure medications are metabolized properly.
Managing a regular medication schedule is an important part of maintaining independence in the golden years. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Roseville families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Kidney function tends to decrease with age. The older someone is, the more difficult it is for his or her kidneys to carry out drug elimination. With similar side effects to the kidney as the liver, reduced dosages of medications can help.
Central Nervous System
Many seniors experience memory loss, making it challenging to remember to take their medication on a regular basis. This increases the need for reminders and memory aids. Some seniors may even want to consider hiring a caregiver who can provide prompt medication reminders to maximize safety.
If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.
Due to digestive changes, it often takes longer for a drug to be fully absorbed in a senior’s body. Although this doesn’t mean the total effect will be diminished, seniors may need to discuss the issue with their doctors and modify their medication or prescription plans accordingly.
Aging adults with poor eyesight may have a difficult time reading the directions for a prescription. This problem can sometimes be the underlying cause of otherwise unexplained negligence.
What You Need to Know
The truth about medications for seniors is that they’re often necessary, with both advantages and disadvantages. Because older adults are more vulnerable to adverse reactions like overdoses and side effects and are more likely to be taking multiple drugs for multiple conditions at the same time, it’s important that the benefits of medications are always weighed against the risks. And when in doubt, speak with your loved one’s primary care physician for an expert opinion.
Taking medications is just one of the many important everyday tasks your loved one may need help with. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Roseville live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call (916) 226-3737 today to schedule a free in-home consultation.