Smile Senior Care prides itself on providing important information and resources for those in assisted living and senior care. One important piece of information seniors should be aware of is the risk of having too many doctors managing their health care. According to recent research, seniors are putting themselves at risk with multiple medications from multiple doctors.
Having multiple doctors administering multiple medications increases the chance of dangerous drug errors. A study of prescription drug alerts conducted by Medco Health Solutions Inc. found that the more physicians seen by a senior, the greater the number of prescriptions filled, which leads to a higher risk of drug errors including drug on drug interactions, under/over medicating, duplicate therapies and incorrect dosages.
The study also found that seniors filled on average 27 prescriptions a year when seeing only 2 doctors, but when the number of doctors increased to 5, seniors filled 42 prescriptions a year, and the number of potential drug errors jumped from 10 to 16.
You should always have your care giver or trusted family member or friend attend your doctor’s appointments. That person can help you keep track of your appointments and prescriptions.
Also do not forget to:
- Always tell your doctor(s) what medications you are currently taking.
- Make notes of your doctors visits and the instructions they give you.
- Ask your doctor if any of the medications you are currently taking will adversely interact with the medications they prescribe.
- If you are ever confused about the doctor’s instructions and advice, ask them to explain again and again until you have a thorough understanding of your doctor’s directions.