With age comes health conditions that often require medications. While these medications serve an important purpose in helping seniors with improved independence and longevity, medicating the elderly presents unique risks as compared to medicating younger generations. This is especially true because many seniors are taking multiple medications each day that may affect their bodies in different ways than they expect.
Metabolism of Seniors
As individuals enter their geriatric years, the metabolism slows, and this impacts how the liver and kidneys work. While some people notice a slowed metabolism when a few extra pounds creep on, San Diego seniors who have been prescribed medications might experience more severe concerns because it takes their bodies longer to break down drugs and move them out of their system.
Seniors also lose muscle mass with age, and this can change the effective doses of medications and how they are distributed to the systems that need them. Water-soluble drugs may leave the body of an elderly person faster than necessary, and fat-soluble medications may stick around for a longer period of time. This means it is critical to take the correct dosage of a medication on a regular basis for optimum benefits.
The Risks Associated with Multiple Medications
Finally, San Diego seniors are often taking multiple medications for a number of different health conditions. Even seniors who are only facing one medical concern might take several pills each day just to manage it. Remembering when and how to take each medication would pose a challenge for anyone, but it is especially difficult for San Diego seniors with Alzheimer’s or other memory impairment.
Doctors Monitoring Medications
To help improve this situation, San Diego medical professionals are provided a list of medications to be used with caution in the geriatric population. Doctors should review a patient’s medications against this list at every visit in order to ensure that seniors are taking the correct dosage and avoiding any medication where the risks outweigh the benefits.
Assistance in the Home for San Diego Senior Citizens
Seniors also benefit when their medications are monitored at home. While some individuals can manage this task independently, most will improve their health when they receive assistance through a family member, trusted friend or professional San Diego in-home aide. These individuals can help seniors to organize their pill boxes, remind them about when and how to take prescription medications and keep their eyes open for any setbacks or warning signs that might indicate problems. If the individual is in the house on a regular basis, such as is the case with a professional San Diego in-home caregiver, day to day activities can also be monitored to help ensure the senior is benefitting from the medications in the way that is expected.
When it comes to seniors and medications, a less is more approach is always best, but sometimes the benefits of multiple medications outweigh the risks. When this is the case, the professional caregivers at Salus Homecare of San Diego are ready to help. Our in-home aides and home care nurses can assist your loved one to take medications on the appropriate schedule and watch for signs that indicate potential problems. Our approach to senior care also includes clear, concise and detailed communication with family members and medical professionals who are involved in the senior’s care. If your loved one is struggling to manage medications, contact San Diego’s premier home care agency, Salus Homecare. We will provide you with the answers you need during a complimentary, no obligation consultation.
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