Medication Safety For Older Adults
Prescription medications become more common as people get older. Adults over 65-years-old take more prescription medications than other age groups. They are prescribed to treat a chronic illness, pain, or as a tool to prevent other illnesses. Our intention is to provide information on medication safety for aging communities.
In general, when taking medications, you want to make sure:
- You are taking the correct medication prescribed for the right condition.
- The medication is right for you–your age and your diagnosis or conditions.
- You take the correct dose for the specified length of time your doctor prescribes.
Stay updated on how medication changes and management
HealthInAging.org, an organization for up-to-date information for health and aging by the American Geriatrics Society’s Health In Aging Foundation, explains that medications are processed differently in aging adults than younger people.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a United States federal-government research institute whose mission is to “advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.” You can learn about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs, and specific studies on and resources for older adults on NIDA’s website.
The Centers for Disease Control has many resources on the United States’ Opioid Epidemic. You can find an explanation of the epidemic, overdose statistics, information about different drugs, and strategies to combat the opioid epidemic on their website. You can learn more about prescription drug use specifically among older adults by reviewing this CDC study.
Partnership for Drug Free Kids addresses every aspect of substance use and addiction, from prevention to recovery. They empower grandparents and other caregivers with support and guidance using the latest science-based information. They research and advance effective prevention and treatment strategies. They advocate for lifesaving policy changes. Finally, they aspire to change the national conversation around addiction so that no one will feel alone or ashamed to seek help, and everyone has access to the care they need and deserve.
HealthInAging.org is a helpful resource to keep you up to date on health, aging, and medication safety. The HealthinAging.org website in a product of American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation. HealthInAging.org is committed to helping older adults and caregivers maintain independence and quality health. Visit the Health In Aging website.
The National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging provides opportunities for professional, consumer and government organizations to work together towards improving the availability and quality of mental health preventive and treatment strategies to older Americans and their families through education, research and increased public awareness. Visit the National Coalition on Mental Health & Aging website.