Are you or a loved one taking medication incorrectly?

January 2, 2016

  • Approximately 20% of seniors are using about 50 prescriptions every year! Keeping up with multiple medications can be a challenge, especially when certain prescriptions must be taken at specific times during the day. This task can be even more daunting for a senior who has vision or memory impairment. The rate of noncompliance is even higher in patients with chronic illnesses. This is because the drug regimens for these patients are often long-term and complex, and alter existing behavioral patterns.


Surprising Data:

  1. Approximately 125,000 people with treatable ailments die each year in the US because they do not take their medication properly.
  2. 60% of all patients cannot identify their own medications.
  3. 85% of people 65 and older on three or more medications are mismanaging their prescriptions. When you increase that number to five or more, the amount of people who don’t take the correct medication climbs to nearly 100%.
  4. Thirty to 50% of all patients ignore or otherwise compromise instructions concerning their medication.
  5. Approximately 25% of all nursing home admissions are related to improper self-administration of medicine.
  6. 12% to 20% of patients take other people's medicines.
  7. Hospital costs due to patient noncompliance are estimated at $8.5 billion annually.
  8. Medication non-compliance costs the U.S. healthcare system $100 billion each year.

Piedmont Crossing will host Medication Pitfalls, a program that will educate attendees on the mismanagement of medication, on Thursday, January 7 at 2pm on the campus of the retirement community. To attend, call Blair at 336-474-3605.

[Source: Wertheimer, Albert I. “Medication Compliance: Still Far to Go.” The Journal of Applied Research.]