An elder law attorney provides help to seniors in making important decisions in advance on medical care in case they become incapacitated. As you get older, your chances of a serious illness or injury rise. You could become unable to communicate your preferences for care and should have advanced directives in place to make it clear to your doctors and family members what kinds of extraordinary measures, if any, you want to be used to try to save your life. Making these kinds of decisions can be hard, but an elder law attorney can help.
It is not just these life-and-death medical decisions that become difficult as a senior. When you get older, you may develop various medical conditions that have to be treated with medications. Managing all of your different pills can be difficult, especially if they are prescribed by multiple doctors. To try to provide help to seniors who are struggling with managing their medications, pharmacies throughout the state of Ohio have teamed up to offer special assistance.
Ohio Pharmacies Team up to Provide Help with Medications to Vulnerable Seniors
According to Cleveland.com, a total of 36 pharmacies throughout the state of Ohio have made plans to provide special help to seniors who may be struggling with the management of their medications.
The pharmacies planned events in which seniors can come for a consultation and review of the medications which they are currently taking and/or which have been prescribed to them. The purpose is for the seniors to understand how the different kinds of drug therapies can interact with each other.
The consultations were organized in conjunction with National Falls Prevention Day. They were organized around this day because falls are a leading cause of serious injury and even death for senior citizens, and because many falls happen as a result of side effects of medication. When drugs interact with each other, the drug interactions can result in dizziness, confusion, and drowsiness that make the chances of a fall greater.
As many as one out of every three seniors in Ohio aged 60 or over experiences a fall injury each year. These falls are the most common reason for seniors to be sent to the emergency room and for seniors to be hospitalized. Falls are also one of the most common causes of fatalities, according to the director of the Ohio Department of Aging.
The Department of Aging helped to organize the events at the pharmacies as part of an initiative called Steady U Ohio, which is committed to reducing the dangers that seniors experience of suffering fall-related injuries.
During the consultations, seniors will be provided not only with an oral discussion of potential drug interaction issues but also with a printed list outlining some of the potential dangerous drug interactions and problems with their medication. The idea is that these senior patients who come to the consultation will be able to take their lists to their physician so they can talk about drug side effects and drug interactions with their doctors.
Seniors will also learn about best practices for medication safety. Tips can include keeping a comprehensive list of all medications; dosages; and frequencies. When going to a pharmacy to get a prescription filled, seniors can show the list to their pharmacist who can check for possible drug interactions. Reading medication labels is also an important safety tip. Seniors should look carefully at the label of any drugs they are taking to read about warnings and side effects. If the side effects are concerning, seniors can talk with their pharmacist for more information and can think about asking their doctor if it is possible to prescribe a less dangerous alternative.
Getting Help from An Ohio Elder Law Attorney
Zimmer Law Firm helps seniors in many important ways when it comes to getting their medical needs met. We can help you to create a Medicaid plan so you can get Medicaid to cover the costs of expensive care when you need it, without you having to spend down all of your personal wealth. We also provide assistance with the creation of advanced directives that allow you to express in advance your preferences regarding the provision of medical interventions in case of an incapacitating injury or illness.
To find out more about the ways in which you should be planning for your medical needs as a senior, download our estate planning checklist. You can also give us a call at 513.721.1513 to get personalized advice from an Ohio elder law attorney. Call now so you can take control of your medical needs.