As people grow older, their bodies begin to slow down. Many organs don’t work as efficiently as they used to, which creates deficiencies that require supplements and medications to address. Many older people struggle with arthritis pain and rely on painkillers for some relief. Although these are natural parts of aging, it can be complicated to manage numerous medications, especially if they must be taken daily.
However, there is a large number of older adults who have begun to misuse, abuse, or even become addicted to their medication. Although it may seem inconceivable that your parent or grandparent can become addicted to drugs, more senior citizens are becoming highly dependent on their medications.
The Epidemic of Senior Medication Misuse or Abuse
Although doctors have agreed that figuring out the exact number of senior drug addicts is difficult, the consensus is that the numbers have skyrocketed over the last decade. Many seniors are observed to abuse tranquilizers, sleeping aids, and painkillers in particular. Many older adults also abuse alcohol, with an estimation of 30 percent of senior citizens drinking excessively. Combined with common prescription medications, this creates a dangerous cocktail of drugs and alcohol.
As hazardous as the situation is, most cases of senior medication misuse and abuse often go undetected. Some may even ignore it until the problem becomes too severe. Many families assume that their old relatives are using their prescription drugs as instructed by the doctor, making it even easier for them to take more than necessary. Keeping track of their medication management is crucial in fighting substance abuse or misuse.
Signs of Senior Prescription Drug Abuse or Misuse
It can be hard to detect prescription drug abuse in older people, as its symptoms tend to mirror aging signs. Some cases even develop accidentally, as many seniors struggle with memory lapses and cognitive function problems that make it challenging to keep track of their medications. Here are some signs of prescription drug abuse or misuse in your elderly loved ones:
- Increased isolation
- Notable changes in mood, appetite, or sleep habits
- Conflicts with other people, like their caregiver, family members, friends
- The unexpected appearance of more pill bottles
- Explicit attempts to acquire more drugs, like frequently changing doctors or pharmacies
- Reports of missing medication without explanation
- Sudden changes in mobility, such as poor balance and difficulty walking
How a Medication Log App Helps Fight Addiction
Fortunately, there are ways to combat prescription drug abuse or misuse in your elderly loved one. Having a centralized system to track their medications will ensure that they take the prescribed amount at the proper times. Although some senior citizens may be accidentally taking more medicines than they should, it can still be dangerous to their health.
One of the easiest ways to manage medications is by using a medication log app. The most reliable app has an intuitive user interface, which allows you to log and manage your elderly relative’s medications. Some apps come with more useful features that help you take care of your family members. For instance, our app has a wide range of uses: it can monitor chronic diseases, elder and geriatric care management, and track opioids and other dangerous substance abuse.
The app also comes with comprehensive medication directions, calendar schedules, and daily medication logs to provide optimal support for an older adult. That way, you and your family will have an easier time supporting your loved one while ensuring that no substance abuse or misuse occurs.
Having a prescription tracker app is an excellent way to prevent prescription drug abuse in an elderly adult. The condition is incredibly tough to detect, making prevention the utmost priority. With access to your older relative’s medication management, you can ensure that they’re taking their medications correctly and as prescribed.
My Medication Log is a cloud-based prescription tracker app designed to help and manage medications. It simplifies everyday tasks, such as maintaining a daily log and handling multiple pharmaceuticals. It also stores comprehensive medical record information about active and inactive medicines. Get started for free today!