Are you 40? It could be time for another drug talk
WINNIPEG -- Drug use is one of those talks a parent has with their children, but aging experts say there’s another one children need to have with their parents.
Home Instead Seniors Care owner in Winnipeg, Julie Donaldson told CTV News she suggests the talk about medication management, and other conversations about aging, happen based on the ‘40/70 rule.’
“That when you’re 40 and your parents are 70 you really need to have these open conversations,” she said. “Because when we get to the point that there is a crisis, we just go into crisis mode and we don't necessarily make the best decisions either.”
Medication management she said is organizing a person’s prescriptions in a way so no doses are missed or taken twice, and that they are easily accessible.
A report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information using 2016 data shows about 2/3 of Canadians over 65 have at least 5 prescriptions from different drug classes.
“Managing all these medications can be really complicated and confusing,” Donaldson said.
Ways to manage medications Home Instead suggests are:
- Go with your parent to doctors’ appointments to ask questions about what medications are being prescribed and why.
- Have an up-to-date list of current medications and supplements because dosages and other changes can happen frequently
- Have a set organizational system like a pill pack or a dosette box
Mishandling medications can lead to complications, like when a person accidentally over medicates.
"That can cause dizziness or cause falls which is the number one reason why seniors end up in the hospital,” said Donaldson. “It can also cause confusion so clients might present like they have Alzheimer’s or dementia but really they're overmedicated."
Another variable to be aware of, she said, is getting prescription refills done on time.
"Sometimes they run out and they go a few days in between getting their medications which can cause a lot of problems too.”
More on medication management can be found here.