Senior Prescription Drug Abuse: Why it Matters

150820-D-RT812-001.JPGWhen people think of prescriptive drug abuse, many don’t think of it as an issue that seniors are commonly faced with. And while the mere numbers may suggest that prescriptive drug abuse does affect the younger members of the community more than the older, senior citizens are actually faced with issues surrounding prescriptive drug abuse specific to them, and in many cases are much more susceptible to abusing prescriptive drugs than one would typically assume.

While adults over the age of 65 are frequently reported as the age group with the lowest percentage of self reported drug abuse, this statistic can be misleading. These numbers may be a misrepresentation of the issue within the community, and the percentage of older adults misusing or abusing prescriptive drugs may be much higher due to the difficulty of diagnosing and recognizing prescription drug abuse in older individuals.

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To learn more about the basics of prescription drug abuse and misuse in the senior community go here: http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2017/07/prescription-drug-abuse-among-older-adults.pdf or https://familydoctor.org/condition/prescription-drug-abuse-in-the-elderly/

There are various factors that make recognizing drug abuse in an older individual difficult. One of these factors is the lack of training or understanding providers typically have in identifying substance abuse and addiction in the older members of our community. Many times due to the similar symptoms in older adults, rather than being diagnosed correctly, substance abuse is mistaken as dementia or depression. There is also the problem that many older adults may not realized that they are misusing their prescriptions, and are unknowingly using the drug in an unsafe way—it could be that the adult is taking too much of the medication, or possibly taking it too often.

This inability to recognize and correctly diagnose prescriptive drug abuse in older adults is especially dangerous for their health. For seniors there are many factors that complicate the issue of prescriptive drug abuse. Many times the complications from prescription drug abuse can add to the symptoms of other health issues and exacerbate the problem. And, to make the problem worse, prescription drug abuse or misuse can happen fairly easily. Whether the person is doing it intentionally or unintentionally, it is important to understand that this is an issue that faces the senior community and poses serious risks to their health.

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To learn more about the problems associated with prescription drug abuse and misuse in the senior community go here: http://betterhealthwhileaging.net/6-medication-problems-aging/

 

Beyond the difficulty of identifying the problem of prescription drug abuse in seniors, there’s also the difficulties of recognizing how to approach or help someone you may think is abusing prescription drugs. Or, if you are a senior yourself, it’s important to understand how to keep yourself from unintentionally misusing the prescription medication you’re prescribed. Drug interactions, incorrect dosage, and unclear directions can all be factors in misusing prescribed medications, which can lead to severe health complications as you grow older.

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To learn more about how to protect yourself from misusing your prescriptions, go here: https://www.consumerreports.org/prescription-drugs/what-older-people-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-risks/

 

This topic can be a tricky one to understand and to talk about, but when it comes to keeping your loved ones healthy as they age, and understanding what you need as you age as well, it’s important to be informed and understand the ways that prescription drug abuse and misuse affects the aging members of our community. If you need any more information, feel free to contact me and I can connect you to the resources you need.

-Renee Johnson, Kontor Realty Group. Realtor and Certified Senior Advisor 55+ specialist.

Renee.johnson@kontorrealtygroup.com

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About Renee Johnson, CSA

Through her many years of service, Renee Johnson has become a trusted resource and advisor for many individuals in the community. Renee takes the time to understand each person’s circumstances. She then creates a personalized plan specifically to meet their individual needs. Renee lives by her company motto, “We make each client feel like they are our only client.” Renee is the Broker Associate and Certified Senior Advisor at Kontor Realty Group and is licensed to sell real estate in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Renee enjoys working with all ages; serving the young and the young at heart. In addition to holding her Broker licenses she has earned the following designations; Senior Real Estate Specialist, Realtor Senior Advisor, Accredited Buyers Representative, Graduate Realtor Institute and Seller Representative Specialist. Renee’s specific training and experience allows her to provide the most comprehensive and qualified service. As a Certified Senior Advisor, Renee specializes in serving the 55+ community. Renee understands what issues most impact the lives of our aging population. She knows that making this transition can be complex, time consuming and emotional. Renee feels that in times of change you should leave nothing to chance and a trusted resource can make all the difference. She provides her clients with valuable information, resources and guidance so they are able to make informed decisions that will best serve them to successfully age in place. She has a team of professionals and services dedicated to supporting every stage of life, with care and simplicity. Renee believes everyone should have the ability to age with grace and dignity. Renee is a member of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, Minnesota Association of Realtors, Wisconsin Realtors Association, National Association of Realtors, Society of Senior Advisors and the National Aging in Place Council. She is the recipient of the Super Real Estate Agent Award for 2015, 2016 and 2017.
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