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Executive Summaries

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January 21, 2016

Research conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, indicates that as the number of prescription medications a senior age 70+ takes increases, so do that senior’s potential medication management challenges and potential health risks. This research found that the majority (57%) of surveyed North
American seniors are taking four or more prescription medications daily, with more than one-fourth (27%) taking six or more.

In regards to communication, survey results show that even though half of seniors don’t want to burden their family with medication issues, almost all of the surveyed seniors (91%) feel very comfortable discussing their medications with a family member or loved one. The majority of respondents felt communication with family members increased their self-confidence that medications are being taken properly. They additionally felt that proactive communication also helped make their families feel more confident about their senior loved ones’ medication management abilities. To provide families with resources to help identify potential pitfalls facing seniors regarding their medications, the Home Instead Senior Care network has introduced Let’s Talk about Rx℠

This public education program will help family caregivers begin the conversation about why this topic is such an important issue and drive them and their senior loved ones to a number of resources. Among these resources is a free solutions guide to help family caregivers understand the potential risks associated with this rising problem and provide tools that can help an
older adult manage these issues in the home. The campaign will articulate why an important part of the solution is having someone serve as a second set of eyes and ears, and to provide medication reminders in the home. Other tools and resources in helping families and seniors be alert to potential medication risks also are available on the website referenced below. The goal of Let’s Talk about Rx is to strengthen the role families can take to help reduce the potential for medication-related health risks, and to help them feel confident about their seniors being safe at home.

Let’s Talk about Rx℠ Executive Summary U.S. Survey Results

Medication Safety

  • Our survey of North American seniors confirmed that the majority (57%) are taking at least four prescription medications daily. More than one-fourth (27%) are taking six or more.
  • While a majority (53%) of surveyed seniors claim they know how to properly dispose of outdated/unused medications, four of 10 (39%) reportedly have disposed of them inappropriately.

Cause for Concern

  • One of five (20%) surveyed seniors has some difficulty managing their medications.
  • Nearly one of five (17%) surveyed seniors feels overwhelmed at least occasionally by the medications they are taking.
  • One of 10 respondents reportedly do not take medications as directed.

Having the Talk

  • Half of the seniors surveyed said that most seniors don’t want to burden their family with potential medication issues.
  • Almost all seniors surveyed (91%) feel very comfortable discussing their medications with a family member or loved one.

Download the full Let’s Talk about Rx℠ Executive Summary, U.S. Survey Results (PDF, 579 KB)

Let’s Talk about Rx℠ Executive Summary Canadian Survey Results

Medication Safety

  • Our survey of North American seniors confirmed that the majority (57%) are taking at least four prescription medications daily. More than one-fourth (27%) are taking six or more.
  • While a majority (53%) of surveyed seniors claim they know how to properly dispose of outdated/unused medications, four of 10 (39%) reportedly have disposed of them inappropriately.

Cause for Concern

  • One of five (20%) surveyed seniors has some difficulty managing their medications.
  • Nearly one of five (17%) surveyed seniors feels overwhelmed at least occasionally by the medications they are taking.
  • One of 10 respondents reportedly do not take medications as directed.

Having the Talk

  • Half of the seniors surveyed said that most seniors don’t want to burden their family with potential medication issues.
  • Almost all seniors surveyed (91%) feel very comfortable discussing their medications with a family member or loved one.

Download the full Let’s Talk about Rx℠; Executive Summary, Canadian Survey Results (PDF, 579 KB)

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. March 11, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Posted by Patti Bunston

    I remember the day that Mum had to admit that she could no longer fill her own dosette herself. That was very hard for her as it was just another piece of her independence she was giving up. The Pharmacist was asked to fill a "blister pack" for Mum each week where it was their responsibility to keep track of her medications. This worked well for a while until she started forgetting to take her meds on time. Then our CAREGivers from Home Instead gently took over the medication reminders and all the worry is now behind us. Having a great team that includes the Family Doctor, Pharmacist, Family Caregiver and Home Instead CAREGiver almost totally eliminates any medication error. Yes, mistakes can sometimes happen but with so many people involved it is very rare.

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