Eight of 10 older adults in the U.S. take at least one medication and many take three or more medications each day, and this increases the risk for drug interactions, mix-ups, and the potential for harmful side effects.
Many of these risks can be prevented if individuals are armed with accurate information about safe and appropriate medication use and how to get the most from your medications safely, according to Karen Ring, director of Healthy Living programming at Pima Council on Aging.
PCOA in Tucson was tapped by Alliance for Aging Research to pilot this workshop, A Dose of Knowledge: Safely Managing Your Pain.
The one-hour workshop hosted by PCOA will discuss the different types of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pain medications; the importance of safely choosing, taking, storing and disposing of these medications; and some non-drug options for pain management.
“Whether an individual turns to over-the-counter pain medications, prescription pain medications or even non-drug therapies to help relieve pain, it is important that a person knows how to use them safely and appropriately,” said Ring.
Did you know
More than 40% of older Americans regularly take five or more prescription drugs, and nearly 20% take 10 or more, according to a 2020 report from the nonpartisan think tank Lown Institute.
When over-the-counter medicines and supplements are factored in, the share of older adults taking five or more pills — a practice known as polypharmacy — increases to 67%.
The incidence of chronic disease increases with age. Nearly 80% of adults 55 and older have at least one chronic condition, data from the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) shows; almost half have two or more.