OLDER ADULTS and MEDICINE SAFETY
In general, the older we get, the more health concerns we have, the more doctors we see, and the more medicines we need. Most adults 65 years and older regularly take at least five different medicines1, and most older adults taking prescription medicines are also using over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, or both.
We take all of these medicines to stay healthy. But more medicines can mean more potential risks and mistakes. Did you know that medicine mishaps like interactions and side effects cause over 700,000 emergency room visits each year? Because as we age we typically take more medicines, older adults are twice as likely as others to visit the emergency room for problems with their medicines, and nearly seven times more likely to be hospitalized after an emergency visit!
Are you taking your medicines safely?
Here are 5 reminders to help prevent harmful medicine mishaps:
Request a medicine safety program
The American Association of Poison Control Centers developed the “Are you taking your medicines safely” program with a team of professional poisoning prevention educators from American’s poison control centers with support from Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc. This 60-minute conversation-based program is intended for adults 65+living independently without nursing care, and both mentally and physically able to manage their own medicines without assistance. Contact your local poison control center to find out more about in-person programming and medicine safety resources.
The “Are you taking your medicine safely” program is sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc.