Keeping seniors informed about medication vital to avoiding missed dosages

Share this content:
Providers need to explain medication compliance better in order to help seniors avoid missed dosages, a caretaking specialist said in a webinar Tuesday.

Adults are less likely to misuse their medication if they feel informed about their health and understand the importance of following their prescription's instructions, according to Paul DelPonte, director of programs, operations and development for the National Alliance for Caregiving. DelPonte was a speaker at a webinar discussing a medication adherence survey from Langer Research Associates, which was commissioned by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

“The role of the caregiver is highly important,” DelPonte said. “And the knowledge of the caregiver about the medications really is important.”

For assisted living residents, or seniors able to manage their medication independently, the good news is the survey found those over age 50 did a better job on adherence than their younger counterparts, especially when taking medications for high cholesterol or heart conditions. The average age of survey respondents was 60, with each person having an average of four prescriptions.

In addition to missing dosages, common problems among adults who needed prescriptions were failing to fill or refill a prescription or taking an old medication for a new problem, the survey found.