Elder abuse takes place in many ways. Most incidents happen in the victim’s home. While families often search for signs of financial or physical abuse, many don’t think to watch for signs of prescription medication abuse. Here are a few insights that might help you better protect the health of your family member.
Preventing Abuse from Caretakers
One of the biggest risks of prescription medication abuse is when a caretaker steals medication from an older adult. Certain types of medications, such as painkillers or anxiety drugs, often tempt unscrupulous caretakers. Either they want to use the medication themselves, or sell it for cash.
Another related form of caretaker abuse is when the person provides the wrong dosages or different types of medication to manage the older adult’s behavior. For example, a caretaker might provide a sleeping pill during the day. This decreases their workload; the patient is sleeping instead of needing assistance.
Managing Dosages and Timing of Prescription Medication Use
Sometimes, prescription drug abuse happens by accident. If the senior suffers from memory loss, then they might have a hard time remembering when to take their medication. Doses might be missed, or the medication is taken too frequently.
It’s essential to manage the right dose and timing of medications. If these drugs are taken improperly, it could endanger the individual.
What are a few options to help manage the use of medication? You can buy a pill dispenser that is set to a timer. When it’s time to take the medication, the machine will distribute the correct number of pills, and an alarm will notify the person to swallow the medication. Another option is to ensure that a family member or a trusted caregiver oversees each dose.
Do you need help to reduce the chance of elder abuse? We are here to answer your questions! Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or phone 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.