AARP surveyed more than 1,800 members in the U.S. All members must be 50 or older, and of those surveyed, 75 percent say they take at least one prescription medication, 80 percent say they take two or three, and 50 percent admit to taking four or more.
It’s common for people 50 and older to take daily prescription medications. What about your dad? How many is he taking? If you add in the over-the-counter medications he could be taking more pills than his safe. It’s a good time to sit down and go over them all.
Factors to Consider With Medication Prices
In that same AARP survey, 40 percent admitted they worry about they’ll afford their medications each money. Around 1 out of 4 older adults didn’t fill a prescription and half of those said they didn’t because they couldn’t afford to.
It’s understandable, there are some medications out there that are priced to be well out of reach. For example, a medication to treat lupus, multiple sclerosis, and two forms of arthritis cost $40 less than 20 years ago. Today, the average price is more than $38,000.
Some of the most common prescriptions can still cost quite a bit. Some aren’t as bad if your dad sticks to a generic form. Take a look at five of them:
- Aricept (Alzheimer’s and dementia) – Average retail price is around $258, but co-pays can get it down to $60 to $80 per month.
- Ativan (Anxiety) – Average retail price is around $24, but co-pays can get it down to $4.
- Coumadin (Blood thinner) – Average retail price is around $19, but co-pays can get it down to $3.
- Lasix (High blood pressure) – Average retail price is around $12, but co-pays can get it down to $2.40.
- Zoloft (Depression) – Average retail price is around $20, but co-pays can get it down to $5.
If the price is keeping your dad from filling a prescription, he needs to talk to his doctor. You may want to advocate for him. There could be a generic that works as well but costs less. This can help keep your dad from forgoing important medications.
Does He Take Them Correctly?
If your dad does fill his prescriptions, is he taking them correctly? Sometimes, older adults don’t read the fine print. Some medications have to be taken at specific times, with a meal, on an empty stomach, or not used with certain over-the-counter medications.
If he forgets if he takes a dose, does he go back and count pills to see or does he just take another dose? That can be dangerous and lead to an overdose.
Make sure your dad isn’t taking too many medications each day. If you can’t supervise his daily activities due to work schedules or other obligations, elder care aides can help. Talk to an elderly care about daily assistance with medication reminders.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in South River, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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