Older members of our community may be at a high risk of inadvertent consequences for people taking medications, especially as people age, physiological changes can change the way drugs are absorbed, metabolised, distributed and eliminated.
Older people are likely to be taking multiple medications, known as polypharmacy, which increases their risk of medication issues. The most common concerns are adverse drug reactions, failure to take a medication or errors when taking medications.
Around 30% of unplanned hospital admissions of older people are related to medications and it is thought that around half of these could have been prevented. An average of five to seven medication changes are made during the hospitalisation of an older person, which also increases the risk of prescribing errors and adverse drug events.
We are able to provide either a medication prompting or a medication administration service as we have different skills and abilities within our team.
- Medication Prompting: This is when a care worker may assist by providing a reminder when a medication is due. They can assist only when a person has the ability to understand their medications and can be responsible for directing the care worker. They do not have the assessment skills of a registered nurse and will report if they identify any concerns. If you and your doctor agree, their main role is to prompt and observe that a person is taking their medication.
- Medication Administration: Our nursing team can assist with medication administration. All registered nurses are required by law to follow a legal doctor’s order. A document with your name, all the relevant information about your medication such as name, dose, method and time to be taken, signed by a doctor, must be obtained. Our nurses can provide you or your family with a medication chart to take to you local GP to be completed. This chart will then be kept in your in-home folder to provide guidance and a record of your medication history. If you are unable to access your doctor we can assist, although there is a charge for this service.
Our visiting nurses can ensure that they assist you with improving your knowledge of your medications, questions you should be asking, precautions you may need to take, potential adverse effects of medications, as well as monitoring the effects of your medications and any associated health conditions, in accordance with your wishes.
More information for older people taking medications is available on the Health Direct website:
MedicineWise Smartphone App
for Using the free MedicineWise smartphone app means you will always have your medicines and health information with you. It can also: