More than half of paid caregivers are confused by senior medications


March 2, 2011

Seniors who are living an independent lifestyle often rely on paid caregivers to help them with day-to-day activities, but a recent study to be published in The Journal of General Medicine has found that 60 percent of these healthcare professionals are often confused by medication instructions when managing an older adult's doses.

"Many of these caregivers are good people who don't want to disappoint and don't want to lose their jobs," leader of the study Dr. Lee Lindquist said in a statement. "So they take on health-related responsibilities, such as giving out medications and accompanying clients to the doctor for appointments. Most physicians and family members do not realize that… [the caregiver] might not really understand what is being said."

This could have implications for seniors, who will likely suffer from mismanaged medications. Families may want to consider installing a medical alarm system in a home to help with these responsibilities. This device can be used to sort and dispense pills and will send a medical alert when it's time for different doses to be taken.

Lindquist recommends that families observe caregivers while they are performing their tasks to ensure that everything is done safely.

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