Talk to a loved one about medications

By -
A grandfather hugs his small grandchildren

Did you know census reports estimate that 1 in 5 Americans will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030*? In Ohio alone, older adults will account for more than 25% of the population** by that time. Now is a great time to talk to an older adult in your life about the importance of safe medication-taking practices to help keep them safe and get the most from their medications.

Be Your Own Advocate

Who is the most important part of a healthcare team? YOU. Encourage loved ones to be an active participant in their healthcare. Our Older Adult resources cover many areas: Learn about medications – especially the reasons for taking them and
what side effects could occur. Use your pharmacist as a trusted resource.

– Keep a complete medication record – this is simply a list of ALL medications
you are taking, including those that do not require a prescription.

– If the cost of prescriptions is an issue, be sure to talk to their healthcare
provider or pharmacist.

– Anything your loved one takes can impact their medication therapy. Share everything they are
are taking with their doctor and pharmacist.

– Is your loved one having a new symptom or health issue? Consider if it could be due to a
change in medications.

Learn Safe Medication Practices

Older adults use more prescription drugs than any other age group. This is why it is important to learn safe medication practices. This can include:

– Only take medications as prescribed.

– Do not share your medications.

– Keep medications safe by securing them when not in use and avoiding areas that children or others can easily access and dispose of unwanted medications properly.

– Model safe medication practices.

Know the Risks of Medication Misuse

What is misuse? Simply put it is:

– Taking more of a prescription medication that prescribed.

– Taking a prescription medication for a reason different than prescribed.

– Sharing or taking someone else’s prescription medication.

– Many people who misuse a prescription get them from a friend or family member, so remember to always secure your medications.

– Medications can help us all live longer, healthier lives. Help you older loved one follow the advice above to be an active member of their healthcare team!

* Rural Health Information Hub 2022

** Ohio Department of Aging, Strategic Action Plan on Aging 2020-2022