Types of Medication Errors
The most common type of medication error in the United States is improper dosage, either missing medications, taking too much, or too little. It is also very common for individuals to inadvertently take the wrong drug or mix drugs that should not be mixed. This is especially likely when seniors have multiple similarly named or packaged medications.
Another common type of medication error occurs when individuals use the wrong method of administration for medications, although this occurs more frequently in hospitals and medical settings than at home.
Medication Error Causes
According to the Food and Drug Administration, about half of all medication errors involve a senior over the age of 60. Seniors may have difficulty reading or understanding medication instructions and dosages due to visual, auditory, or cognitive impairments.
Seniors may also forget to take medications, have trouble opening medication containers or swallowing pills, or have difficulty finding transportation to refill prescriptions. In some cases, seniors may intentionally stop taking medications because a lack of symptoms reduces motivation or because they become overwhelmed trying to keep track of the timing and dosage of multiple medications.
How ComForCare Can Help
Adhering to a medication regimen is a key part of preventing hospital readmissions, and ComForCare’s in-home services can ensure that your loved one’s medication schedule is accurately followed. Our senior caregivers are trained to work with client-specific medication profiles to ensure that your family member’s medication is taken on time and in accordance with doctor’s orders. Caregivers can devise systems to make medication administration easier and to mitigate the risk of errors.
Preventing Medication Errors
ComForCare caregivers are highly trained and will go above and beyond to prevent medication errors. This involves making sure that your loved one does not accidentally eat foods that will interfere or react with medications; taking medications into consideration during meal planning and preparation if those tasks are included in their home care plan or informing you and your family members about the risks otherwise. Caregivers will also help to make sure that seniors take medications with food and avoid alcohol as directed on medications.