Seniors’ medical costs could be cutting into other expenses

Lisa Wurth

August 2, 2011

Researchers from Harvard Medical School recently reported that one in 10 older adults who are using Medicare, deviate from their prescribed regimen of medication because drugs are simply too expensive. Some older adults may skip pills to make their prescriptions last longer, or they may just choose to not get refills in order to save money.

More than half of study participants reported that they found ways to cut corners, such as opting for generic versions of their medications or requesting free samples from doctors, to stave off the need to purchase their prescriptions. Nearly ten percent of elderly adults said that they find other ways to save money so they can afford their prescriptions, such as spending less on food and heat.

It is important to stick with a prescribed schedule for taking medications – otherwise the drugs may not work as intended, which can put the individual at risk. Medical alert systems can help family members make sure their loved ones are taking their medicine by keeping track of their daily intake and reporting it to the caregivers. What do these systems cost? This can vary between brands – compare the Bay Alarm Medical system to the Philips Lifeline cost – Bay Alarm is considerably cheaper, so a little shopping around can save a lot.

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