Depending on how the drug is administered, it might either be of vital importance for maintaining excellent health or cause a significant regression in health. The consequences may be fatal if doses are missing or if an excessive amount of the medicine is used.

It is common for elderly people to not take their medications as prescribed. The following, as stated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services:

Five hundred and fifty per cent of senior people are non-compliant with their prescription drug orders, which means that they do not take their medicine in the manner that has been prescribed by their physician.

Every year, unfavourable medication responses land around 200,000 elderly people in the hospital.

The failure of older citizens to take their prescriptions as directed might be attributed to a variety of factors. The following is a list of six typical reasons for medication errors, as well as some advice on how family caregivers may assist avoid these errors.

Issues with the Eyes

For elderly people who struggle with their eyesight, not being able to read the fine print on the labels of pill bottles or being unable to tell one pill from another may result in the potentially harmful abuse of medicine.


Inquire with the pharmacist dealing with your loved one’s prescriptions about the availability of accessible labelling. A good number of pharmacies provide labels with enlarged type, and some even provide labels with braille instructions. The use of a talking medicine system is yet another alternative that may be considered for elderly patients who have considerable visual loss and who take a variety of drugs. These systems consist of special microchipped labels and a “reader” that can scan individual pill bottles and recite important information aloud to the patient. This information includes the name of the drug, the dosage, the instructions, the prescription number, the refill date, pharmacy information, warnings, and patient education leaflets. Larger pharmacies that provide mail-order services often provide customers with access to these more advanced prescription labels.

Lack of Memory

Patients in their latter years who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia that is connected to it are at increased risk for several drug management issues. It’s possible that a person living with dementia would forget to take their medication, leading to missed doses. They may also have problems remembering whether or not they have previously taken a drug, which might lead to them taking numerous doses of the prescription and putting themselves at risk for an overdose.


It is possible that a pill box will be adequate in the early stages of a loved one’s dementia to assist them in organizing and keeping track of their medicine, but this will depend on the course of the disease. It is possible to purchase a wide variety of items, such as alarm-equipped pill boxes, electronic pill boxes that contact a pre-programmed phone number if the prescribed medication is not ingested at the prescribed time, and automated dispensers.

It is common for older people who have severe dementia to lose the capacity to handle their own drugs in a safe manner. Because of this, there must always be someone there to remind the elderly person to take their medications and to make sure they do it in the correct manner. This is only one of the numerous services that professional carers who come to the patient’s home may offer to assist dementia sufferers to maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Less Financial Resources

After retirement, many older people have to make do with fixed salaries. Because of this, however, many people are unable to purchase all of the prescriptions that they need. Seniors living on a limited budget may resort to cutting their medications in half, taking less than the recommended amount, or even forgoing their prescription altogether for extended periods of time.


To our good fortune, there are ways to reduce the cost of medicine without sacrificing quality. One helpful piece of advice is to switch to generic versions of prescribed medications whenever it’s feasible to do so. Generic versions of a drug have the same quantity and types of active components as the corresponding brand-name version, but the generic version is much cheaper. Inquire about the availability of a generic alternative with the healthcare provider or pharmacist who is treating your loved one.

Do research on several programs that provide financial help for prescription drugs. It’s possible that the drugstore where your loved one gets their medications has a discount program, or that the pharmacist is aware of manufacturer discount programs and state prescription assistance programs that may help decrease the overall cost of medication.

Regrettably, Original Medicare (Parts A and B) alone only covers a restricted range of prescription medications for outpatients under restricted circumstances. Beneficiaries are required to pay premiums on a monthly basis in order to maintain this supplementary coverage for the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), which may assist reduce the overall cost of medication. On the other hand, older citizens who have a low income and little resources may be eligible for Additional Assistance from Medicare, which may assist them in paying their Part D premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Difficulties with Swallowing

Because of their health conditions, some elderly people have problems swallowing pills or capsules of medicine. Dysphagia is the name given to this disorder. Seniors who have trouble swallowing may attempt to chew their pills or capsules, crush them, break them, or mix them in with food or drink. This may be risky since certain prescriptions come in long-acting formulations that, if broken or crushed, can cause too much of the drug to be released too quickly. Alternate medications will either fail to function correctly or will increase the risk of the patient becoming unwell.


Never chew, crush, break, or mix drugs with fluids unless specifically instructed to do so by your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist. This is one of the most essential rules of thumb to follow when dealing with medication. If an elderly person has problems swallowing pills, they should ask their doctor or pharmacist whether the medication is available in smaller, easier-to-swallow tablets or if there is a liquid solution that they may take instead.

Hearing Impairment

It may be difficult for a senior patient who is deaf or hard of hearing to hear and follow the directions that their doctor or pharmacist offers regarding how to take their prescriptions.


Have a conversation with your elderly loved one about how they should not feel ashamed about their hearing loss. Encourage the senior to request that the physician or pharmacist repeat themselves if they are unable to understand what is being spoken to them. Make sure that they bring the appropriate hearing equipment, such as hearing aids, to their visits with the doctor and when they pick up their prescriptions from the pharmacy. If they continue to struggle with comprehending vocal instructions or refuse to use their hearing aids, it may be prudent to have a family caregiver or professional caregiver accompany them to appointments so that they can get clear instructions and updates to their care plan.

Social Isolation

There are a significant number of older persons who live independently in the neighbourhood. According to the findings of a number of research, individuals who live by themselves are more likely to skip doses of their prescribed medications.


Have a conversation with the person you care about about the possibility of hiring a companion or a professional caretaker. In-home caregivers are able to assist seniors in adhering to their prescribed drug regimes and may also offer seniors essential socializing opportunities, which is something that many older individuals miss. Without consistent interaction with other people, older citizens are more likely to experience feelings of isolation, develop depression, and even stray from their usual habits, such as taking their medications on time.


Call now for a free consultation

Are you looking for compassionate and reliable home care services in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, or Seminole counties? Look no further than our professional team at Embracing Home Care! Our highly trained caregivers provide personalized care for seniors and individuals with disabilities, ensuring that they can continue to live independently in the comfort of their own homes. With a variety of services including personal care, transportation, meal preparation, and companionship, we strive to improve the quality of life for our clients and provide peace of mind for their families. Contact us today at 321-758-2036 to learn more about our affordable and flexible home care options and to schedule a consultation with one of our care coordinators. Let us help you or your loved one live life to the fullest!  We serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Apopka, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Sanford, Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville, Kissimmee, St.  Cloud, Celebration, Lake Mary, Oviedo, Longwood, Winter Springs, Cocoa Beach and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *