Most older adults and their families are well aware of the hazards of drinking alcohol and driving. What they may not know is that certain prescription and non-prescription medications can also affect driving skills. More than 88% of people age 60 and older take at least one – and frequently more than one – prescription or over-the-counter medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Which of these products found in many medicine cabinets are drugs?
B. Eye drops for glaucoma
C. Antibiotic capsules
D. Vitamin pills
It is important to know everything you can about your loved one’s medications. With so many different health care providers prescribing medication, make sure you understand the different side effects and interactions that each pill causes. Also make sure your loved one isn’t taking any expired medication. If they do have medicine that is expired, be sure they are disposing of it properly.
Here are a few more simple prescription safety guidelines:
Older adults use more medicines, including prescription, over-the-counter, and supplements than any other age group—that’s 34 percent of all prescription drug use nationwide.
Schemes advertising dubious pills, potions, diets and other "treatments" for a wide variety of illnesses common in older people have been promoted by "snake oil" salesmen for centuries.
Nowadays instead of listening to sales pitches for home remedies at the county fair, suffering older adults are bombarded by a multitude of pitches for dubious remedies claiming to relieve the discomfort of assortment of age-related ailments in newspapers, magazines, TV and the internet.
Family caregivers often face challenges as they try to keep track of the many medications their relative takes each day. The average older American takes from four to five prescription and at least two non-prescription medications every day. It can be a real challenge for families to keep track of medicines and make sure they are taken correctly. Many pharmacies now offer a variety of services to help older adults and their families manage their medicines.
If you think shots are just for kids, think again. Immunizations are especially important for older adults with chronic diseases – and the people who care for elderly family members. Even the flu can cause death in people with heart disease, diabetes or other chronic illnesses. Immunizations must be kept up-to-date to prevent serious, sometimes life-threatening, illnesses.