Patients don’t always understand the risk of listening to their doctor’s orders, leading to several complex dilemmas. For one, being stubborn about listening to professional advice can prolong a person’s recovery time. Additionally, it can lead to less effective treatments in handling chronic illnesses.
Proper medication management shouldn’t be impossible, but some demographics have particular difficulties in committing to them. For example, the elderly can be stubborn about taking their medicine at the right time at the right dosage. Although some treatments can have uncomfortable side effects, there’s a much greater risk of avoiding your doctor’s orders, leading to severe consequences.
This is dangerous for patients that have complex illnesses and compromised immune systems.
The consequences of poor medication management
Non-adherence occurs when a patient discontinues or refuses to observe their physician’s medical advice. This applies to lifestyle adjustments, medical procedures, and prescription medication. In most cases, non-adherence can occur by accident due to forgetfulness or other reasons. However, some patients will actively avoid the proper dosage of their medicine. The potential health risks that non-adherence can do to a person shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially for elderly patients.
In this article, we’ll share three scenarios that occur by missing routine medication.
1. Increased risk of falls
Most forms of medication generally have minor side effects like dizziness and nausea. Although these are typically ignorable for adult patients, they can be extremely dangerous to elderly patients.
These side effects increase their risk of falling, leading to severe injuries and even death. A study reveals that around 16% of hospitalizations of senior citizens were due to adverse drug reactions. Since older people have more sensitive immune systems and slower recovery rates, they may require intensive medical attention after a fall.
2. Social isolation and depression
Besides physical complications, elderly patients that have poor medication management can suffer from depression and social isolation. Although some medicine has side effects that induce insomnia, they may also turn to social isolation due to the complications they’re feeling. For example, they may display signs of avoiding family members or refusal to interact with friends and the community.
It’s important to remember that medication management isn’t as simple as taking a routine dosage of medicine. Some elderly patients undergo great stress and pain in maintaining their medical treatment and managing their symptoms. For this reason, they can fall into reclusive and non-responsive habits that hurt them physically and mentally.
3. Drug addiction
Even prescription medication has a risk of being addictive, especially for elderly patients who are more sensitive to more potent forms of medicine. Drug addiction among the elderly leads to high mortality rates since it’s much harder to diagnose. Seniors generally experience weight loss, altered sleep, and other symptoms due to improper drug usage. This is why many patients go misdiagnosed without understanding the risk of following proper medication management.
The implication of missing your medication can be minor or severe, depending on your illness and the prescribed medicine. However, it’s almost always dangerous for patients that are of old age. For this reason, investing in proper medication management is as important as life or death. Thankfully, healthcare technology is quickly evolving to remedy minor and major lapses in outpatient care. There are now modern solutions that can prevent the potential risks of non-adherence for patients young and old.
Utilizing technology isn’t uncommon in streamlining the interaction between patients and healthcare providers. MedManage is a cloud-based medication log app that guides elderly patients and caregivers to avoid non-adherence. Discover the innovative solution to medication management by downloading our app today!