Medication Organizers and the Surprising Dangers They Pose for Seniors

Mediation organizersOn average, a senior takes approximately 15-18 different prescriptions every day, so it is not hard to understand why so many seniors miss doses or take incorrect doses of their medications. But there are health risks that happen because of these medication errors. That is where the medication organizer comes into play: such an easy thing to place the correct meds within the appropriate slots for every day. Problem remedied, right?

Startlingly, a recent study points to a much different outcome. Seniors comfortable with taking medications from the original packaging who switched to a medication organizer were overwhelmed with medical concerns, including falls, hypoglycemia, and in one case, an individual unable to get out of the bathtub until a rescue 12 hours later.

The analysis included 29 elderly people over age 75 who weren’t utilizing pill organizers and were, inadvertently, failing to take their prescriptions as directed by their doctors. For 60 days, half of the seniors began using a pill organizer, as the other half continued taking their prescriptions as they always had.

Surprisingly, health concerns occurred only in those seniors who had begun using pill organizers. The speculation behind these shocking results comes from the notion that the seniors were missing doses or taking their prescriptions incorrectly before using the pill organizer, and were suffering from side effects from taking full doses of their meds.

Lead researcher Dr. Debi Bhattacharya stresses the need for individuals getting ready to switch to a medication organizer to first consult with their physician or pharmacist to confirm dosage amounts. And she clarifies, “People who are already using a pill organizer without any ill effects should not stop using it as they do seem to help some patients take their medication as prescribed. It’s the switching stage which appears to be the danger.”

Midnight Sun’s Anchorage home care experts can help with medication reminders to ensure aging adults take prescriptions when they are supposed to, can assist with transportation to pick up prescriptions, and can note any adverse medication reactions that can be reported to the physician immediately. Give us a call at 907-677-7890 for help with keeping your senior loved one healthy and safe.

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