In Home Care Reduces Polypharmacy Risks For North Texas Seniors
Today’s post highlights some of the health risks North Texas seniors face by taking multiple medications, as well as the manifold ways our in home care team reduces polypharmacy risks.
‘polypharmacy’ Poses Major Health Risks For North Texas Seniors
‘Polypharmacy’ is a term used to describe the concurrent use of multiple medications by a patient. It is most common in the elderly, and poses a number of health risks and negative consequences, including:
- Increased health care costs for both the patient and health care system
- Adverse drug events (ADE)–in a population based study, outpatients taking 5 or more medications had an 88% increase risk of experiencing adverse drug effects (Maher et al., 2014, p. 59)
- Increased risk of hospitalization–patients taking 5 or more medications were almost 4 times as likely to be hospitalized from an ADE
- Harmful drug interactions–a patient taking 5-9 medications had a 50% probability whereas the risk increased to 100% when a patient was found to be taking 20 or more medications (Maher et al., 2014, p. 61).
Unfortunately, polypharmacy is quite prevalent in North Texas, as well as the rest of the United States, which makes competent in-home care all the more critical.
One study published by the Journal of Research in Pharmacy Practice suggested that 40.6% of seniors were at risk of polypharmacy (Golchin et al., 2015). This echoes findings published in Expert Opinion on Drug Safety, which suggest that “nearly 50% of older adults take one or more medications that are not medically necessary” (Maher et al., 2014, p. 57).
Turning to North, Texas sources, we can find plenty of evidence of polypharmacy in our community. According to a 2020 Texas news report, more than 40% of older Texans take five or more medicines, and the risk of side effects or drug interactions increases along with the total number of medications being taken.
How To Reduce Polypharmacy Risks With In Home Care In North,texas
Perhaps the most effective polypharmacy and ADE interventions boil down to hiring competent in-home care providers. These are just a few of the myriad ways our team helps keep North Texas seniors safe, reducing polypharmacy and its associated risks:
- Keeping in home care staff to watch for any signs of medication mismanagement (i.e. “medication fog”
- Monitor medication use to promote proper medication management
- Ensure all medication instructions are being followed (e.g. taking with or without food)
- Improving communications with healthcare providers via safe transportation, help with scheduling appointments, and monitoring home habits
- Review all drugs and supplements at each care transitions (e.g. from hospital to long term care, or subacute care back to the community) to prevent hoarding and eliminate unnecessary drugs
Free In Home Care Quotes In North, Texas
Always Best Care of North, Texas proudly serves families throughout Southlake, Denton, Flower Mound, Grapevine, and all the surrounding areas.
Call 940-312-7834 or fill out the short contact form on the www.abcsouthlake-denton.com to book your free in home care consultation today and find out how we can optimize your loved one’s medication management.
Golchin, N., Frank, S. H., Vince, A., Isham, L., &Meropol, S. B. (2015). Polypharmacy in the elderly. Journal of Research in Pharmacy Practice, 4(2), 85.
Maher, R. L., Hanlon, J., & Hajjar, E. R. (2014). Clinical consequences of polypharmacy in elderly. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety, 13(1), 57-65.