Have You Heard There Has Been an Increase Lately in the numbers of Drug Abuse in Seniors? Learn Some Precautions you can help your Loved One take.

Caregiver Scenarios in Etobicoke – Prescription Drug Abuse in the Elderly

Taking prescription medications according to the doctor’s instructions is usually considered both safe and effective. However there has been an increase lately in numbers of senior adults who aren’t using their medicines properly. This can come with serious health consequences.Caregivers Etobicoke

Examples of Prescription Drug Abuse

Not taking medications properly may happen for a number of different reasons. The senior may be doing it on purpose or it may be happening because they are inadvertently making a mistake. Here are some examples:

Fred was having pain in his left side. Instead of telling his daughter he needed to go see the doctor, he told his friend Ralph. Well Ralph had a prescription at home his doctor gave him for pain so he gave the rest of his bottle to Fred and Fred started taking the pills. This medication was for a totally different reason than what Fred needed and it landed him in emergency!

Alice was on several different medications and she had always taken them as directed. Lately her vision had not been very good and she was mixing up bottles and dosages. When her son Richard came to check on her, he was surprised when she told him one of her prescriptions had run out and she needed a refill. Richard knew something was wrong so he checked and discovered her mistake. Luckily he caught it in time before she suffered a serious health emergency.

Walter had been feeling depressed lately because of loneliness and after losing his license, he couldn’t get out much anymore. He began mixing his prescriptions with drinking as well as taking more pills than the prescribed dosage just to try and drown out his sorrows.

Intentional or Unintentional Abuse

All of the above examples can result in dire consequences, and often are just honest mistakes by the senior loved one because they didn’t realize what they were doing. This is called unintentional abuse. When the medications are taken intentionally as in Walter’s case, this is referred to as intentional abuse.

Help your elderly loved one get the help they need

Your senior may just need a little help. In the examples above, Fred needs a talk from his doctor to realize you can’t use someone else’s prescription. Maybe he also needs a home care provider to take him to the doctor when the need arises.

Alice needs to get her vision checked and have someone help her organize her prescriptions in a way she can understand and won’t get mixed up. A caregiver could assist her.

Walter may need some professional help for depression. It would also be highly beneficial for him to have some regular home care providers to give him some help and companionship to alleviate the loneliness he is feeling.

Contact us for caregiving services and companionship. For more information about caregiving services, call 905-709-1767.

About Susan Di Michele

We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in improving health and wellness of individuals, their families, and communities. Through nurturance, gentleness and compassion, our team strives to shine a light on what it takes to be role models of caring practice.
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