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Prioritizing Medication Management

Leisure Care Polypharmacy

Alissa Sauer

In a study by the National Institutes of Health, fifty percent of adults over 65 reported taking four or more prescription drugs, and 39 percent of adults in the same age bracket reported taking five or more prescription drugs. Taking five medications or more at one time is called polypharmacy and can be dangerous for seniors. Take a closer look at polypharmacy and see how Leisure Care communities are helping residents properly manage their medications.

The Dangers of Polypharmacy

Polypharmacy is a state in which five or more medications are consumed concurrently. Polypharmacy leads to decreased quality of life for seniors, leading to more physical problems, increased risk of drug interactions and side effects, and medical problems. Taking multiple medications at one time drastically increases the risk of negative drug interactions. Findings from UCIHealth report the following dangers of polypharmacy:

  • Taking five to nine medications increases the chance of an adverse drug interaction by 50 percent.
  • Taking 20 or more medications increases the risk of adverse drug interaction to 100 percent.
  • Polypharmacy accounts for nearly 30 percent of all hospital admissions.
  • Polypharmacy is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.

Additionally, polypharmacy can result in adverse effects as managing a more complex medication schedule becomes more difficult with more medications.

Avoiding the Dangers of Polypharmacy

When considering the medication list for an older adult, families should meet with a primary care physician to review all prescribed medications. Since different doctors may prescribe multiple medications, medical professionals may be unaware of other prescriptions, which may negatively impact health.

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At Leisure Care communities, our medical team works closely with families and medical professionals to responsibly simplify each resident’s medication regimen. We discuss medication lists regularly and reassess schedules to ensure that residents are receiving the right medications at the right time while not experiencing adverse medication interactions.

Our communities provide personalized care plans that meet each resident’s unique needs. There are no cookie-cutter plans, as our unique care plans improve health and happiness. Contact a Leisure Care senior living community today to learn more about our life-enhancing assisted living services. 

 

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