The Aussies at risk of medication mishaps

More than half the multi-bedroom houses in the area in which I live are occupied by old, single people or old couples.

Most of us have physical limitations of one kind or another. Many of us no longer drive. 

Almost all of us take a range of medications every day. Quite a few of us are, to a greater or lesser extent, ‘off with the pixies’ at times.

Yet, we are allowed to self-manage our medications! Does that make any sense?

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Many are not allowed to drive, presumably for fear that we may kill someone – or ourselves – but we are allowed to self-manage our medications, presumably because if we get it wrong, the only person we kill will be ourself. How very realistic!

What are the responsibilities of the health professionals?

Doctors prescribe a medication but do they concern themselves with whether we can read or remember the directions as to how we are supposed to use it? The pharmacist dispenses our medication and takes our money. Do they concern themselves with our ability to read and understand the directions?

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Do they check to see if there is someone who can and will help us to actually use the medication in the prescribed manner?

When did a pharmacist last ask you if you understood how to use the medication? Or, is that the responsibility of someone else? If so, who?

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