NEW YORK — As the Baby Boomer generation ages and the segment of the U.S. population over 65 increases, the healthcare industry is growing to meet the increased demand for care for the elderly.
An older population means more prescription drugs being issued to that demographic. The unfortunate reality is that more prescriptions means an increased risk of harmful mistakes being made by elder Americans. And when a patient first begins taking a new medication, they may experience some new symptoms or side effects.
Rather than trying a different medication, which may alleviate the new symptom, a physician may simply treat it as a different condition, prescribing a second medication. That, in turn, may lead to additional symptoms, and so on, thereby leading to a drug cascade.
Each new prescription increases the likelihood of a mistake being made, either by the physician or the patient. Below is an educational illustration that details the most common medication mistakes by elder Americans age 65 and over. This infographic, courtesy of Drug Lawsuit Source, explains the most common medication errors in the elderly and how to prevent them.