These days, many medical treatments depend on medications. Unfortunately, for the older population, who might be faced with issues like confusion or cognitive decline, this increases the risk of overmedication. It doesn’t help that the medications they’re often prescribed might interfere with each other or that they may get their medications from various sources, which could lead to polypharmacy. However, with a skilled nursing provider by their side, the chances of overmedication are reduced.
What Is Polypharmacy?
Polypharmacy is the act of taking more than one medication at the same time to treat different health problems. This usually means taking more medication than is clinically necessary or that could cause dangerous drug interactions. People over 65 who have more than one chronic illness and may get medications from different doctors are more likely to experience this problem. Although polypharmacy is sometimes necessary for managing a disease well, it comes with a lot of risks, such as negative effects from the medication, not taking medications as prescribed, and higher healthcare costs.
How Can a Skilled Nursing Provider Help?
A skilled nursing provider will first focus on getting to know the senior and their specific needs and circumstances. This includes learning their medical background, present medications, allergies, and possible drug interactions by doing full evaluations that include medication reconciliation.
From there, they’re able to lower the risk of overmedication by creating a customized care plan that is specific to the seniors’ health goals and desires. Additionally, by carefully reviewing and stopping medicines that may be unnecessary, harmful, or redundant, they make deprescribing a top priority. This process makes sure that seniors only get the medicines they need for their health, which lowers the risk of side effects that come with taking too many medicines at once.
Thinking Outside the Box
A home care team, along with a skilled nursing provider, can also help seniors by making it a priority to use non-drug interventions along with medication control. This entails looking at different ways to deal with chronic conditions and make life better, such as physical and occupational therapy, dietary changes, and behavioral treatments.
Exercise, nutrition counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and pain management methods are just a few of the evidence-based practices that a skilled nursing provider uses to help seniors depend less on medications. Taking a whole-person approach improves health as a whole while lowering the risks of taking multiple medications.
One of the most important roles that a skilled nursing provider plays is giving seniors the support they need to make their own choices about their health care. They do this by giving seniors and their families the information they need to understand their medications and make smart decisions.
As the older generation expands, there is increased concern about overmedication. The good news is that with a skilled nursing provider by their side, seniors get the support, information, and care they need to ensure safety when taking medications. This care lowers the risk of polypharmacy and improves the quality of life for seniors as a whole.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring skilled nursing in Warren County, VA, please contact the caring staff at LivinRite Home Care. Serving Northern Virginia, The Valley, and Surrounding Communities – call us today at (703) 369-6677.
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