Free online tool can help senior citizens avoid dangerous prescription mistakes

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When we think about misusing drugs, often times younger people come to mind, but senior citizens are at risk as well, and often times it's accidental.

"On average, a senior takes four or more prescription medicines, that doesn't include over the counter medicines, supplements, or vitamins," said Chris Blaine, Owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Springfield.

With or without help from a caregiver, all those medicines can be hard to keep track of, and mix-ups are costly.

"It can lead to a lot of things like hospitalizations, sickness, and even death," said Blaine.

So Home Instead Senior Care has launched a program to help.

"It's a public education program designed to educate folks about the need for managing medications for seniors. Often times the lack of medication management will lead a senior to not be able to stay independently at home," Blaine explained.

Their new online program called "Let's Talk About Rx" has free tools seniors and their families can use to get a better handle on their health.

"We have a medication management tracking tool, we have tips for managing medication and we also have some conversation starting tips for families to talk to their senior loved ones," said Blaine.

The site also contains tips to help identify if someone you love might need help.

"If you notice things like prescription bottles that are still full, medication bottles that aren't being taken, confusion or different symptoms coming on like weight gain or loss, trouble with memory or physical difficulties those are all red flags and can often times be a result of medication that's not being managed properly," Blaine explained.

So far administrators have received positive feedback from the site and hope it leads to better health and happiness for people in our area.

"By managing those medications, you're more likely be able to stay at home and stay at home independently," said Blaine.