People of all ages can have difficulty managing their medications, but this is especially true for seniors who may face physical limitations, memory loss, and multiple chronic conditions. Add to this the complexity that coronavirus (COVID-19) social distancing has created for caregivers and older adults, and you have a perfect storm for medication non-adherence, which is estimated to account for 10% of hospital readmissions, nearly 25% of nursing home admissions, and 20% of preventable adverse drug events in older adults.

So, what is medication non-adherence? According to the American Pharmacists Association, non-adherence includes delaying or not filling a prescription, skipping doses, splitting pills, or stopping medication early. In addition to generating an estimated $100 to $289 billion in health care expenses annually, non-adherence takes a toll on the health of seniors who may be on long-term medication and need ongoing, consistent care.

Millions of older Americans currently depend on a home aide or family caregiver for help with their medications, but the current COVID-19 crisis is causing lockdowns and restricted visitation rules at nursing homes, while independent seniors are isolated in their homes. As a result, medication adherence is at risk for all older adults. In addition, they are at risk of suffering from loneliness as a result of extended isolation and a disruption in their social connections.

If you or someone you know is a caregiver, or if you’re concerned about medication management for a loved one or family friend during the current health crisis, here are three strategies to stay socially connected to loved ones and help ensure they take the right medication at the right time.

Read the full article from Senior News.