How To Help Elderly Family Members With Their Asthma Medication

How To Help Elderly Family Members With Their Asthma Medication

The below content is derived from research done using sources available on the internet. Safey Medical Devices Inc and its subsidiaries do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the content. No medical decision should be taken on the basis of below content without consulting with your Medical Practitioner.

Are you struggling to help an elderly asthma sufferer? Here’s some tips on how to assist elderly family members with their asthma management & medication. 

If you’ve got an elderly family member who has to take regular medication, you’ll know how important it is for them to take their medication on time and correctly. It’s often hard because you can’t keep an eye on them all the time, and you have to trust them to adhere to their medication when you’re not around. Are they going to take the full dosage? Will they remember to take it at exactly the right time? 

As we get older, it becomes more challenging to remember to take medication on time. Particularly if you suffer from asthma, and you need to use your inhaler frequently. Also, sadly, some elderly patients get to a point where they are unable to continue to be responsible for taking their medication, or they need loved ones to constantly remind them, which can be quite challenging. 

When it comes to asthma medication, it’s vital that it’s taken properly and regularly. In fact, improper inhaler technique is associated with poor asthma control and frequent emergency department visits (AL-Jahdali et al, 2013). 

But what if there was a smart solution? It’s almost impossible to keep an eye on when your elderly family member takes their asthma medication, but a smart inhaler can solve this issue. It can send you updates via an app on not only when they use their inhaler, but how effective their technique is. 

Persuading older family members to take their asthma medication can often be difficult. Sometimes they feel that they are doing well enough to not require such frequent doses, and occasionally they become less interested in looking after their own health and wellbeing. Having a device to remind them might just give them the push they need, and help get them into a routine.

Tracking when meds were taken

What a lot of family members struggle with is wondering whether elderly family members have even taken their medication at all, and how many doses they might be missing. 

Aerobit uses smart inhaler tracking technology to report exactly when medication is taken, so those overseeing a patient will be alerted if a dose is missed. With asthma especially, this can be lifesaving. This smart inhaler is often used for children who struggle to settle into a routine and understand how to take their medication, but it’s equally as useful for adults. 

Also, crucially, it keeps family members and carers in the loop with progress by sharing critical health data. Alerts are also sent to the patient’s smartphone, which tells them when they need to take their medication. Or if an elderly person doesn’t use smartphones, it can send a text message to a phone, and the inhaler also flashes as a reminder. 

Information about how they were taken

A common issue with asthma medication in particular, is taking the medication properly. Lots of people aren’t aware that they’re using an incorrect technique. If the medicine isn’t inhaled properly, it doesn’t reach the lungs and help where it’s needed most. 

The Safey smart inhaler device measures the quality of each dose. So you will know if your elderly family member hasn’t taken their asthma medication properly, and could be at risk. It also syncs data with the app and healthcare providers via Bluetooth or SIM Card.

When medication is missed

The consequences of drug noncompliance may be serious in older patients according to a study by Salzman C, 1995. Estimates of the extent of noncompliance in the elderly vary, ranging from 40% to a high of 75%. 

Issues that arise from elderly patients not taking medication, especially asthma medication can on occasion be more serious than with younger people. Their immune system isn’t as strong, and any illnesses that arise from not taking medication can be more serious and occasionally, fatal. 

Another reason why older people tend to forget to take medication, is because they may be taking several types of medication at any one time. As we get older, we may experience a variety of ongoing health concerns, and get prescribed all sorts of confusing medications. As many as 25% of older people take at least three drugs. 

Research (Bracewell, Gray, Rai, 2005) has shown that using three or more drugs a day puts elderly people at particular risk of poor compliance. With the smart inhaler, patients get reminders and have a set schedule to take their asthma medication, which means they’re less likely to forget. Plus, if they are taking a myriad of other medications, they can clearly distinguish how and when to use their inhaler.

What if asthma medication is being overused?

In research by Salzman (1995), three common forms of drug treatment noncompliance are found in the elderly: overuse and abuse, forgetting, and alteration of schedules and doses. This is something a lot of people don’t think of. Whilst their main concern is usually worrying about loved ones taking enough medication, some older people actually end up taking too much of their medication. You might be wondering why someone would take too much of a particular medication. 

Well, the answer is simple. It’s often because people mistakenly believe that taking more of a certain drug will help them recover quicker. When it comes to asthma medication, it’s so important to take medication at the right times and exactly the right dosage. The smart inhaler provides a solution to this as it will alert carers if a patient is using their inhaler too much. 

It’s clear that the use of smart technology can assist with medical adherence, especially in older patients. In the case of the smart inhaler, it can help save costs for places like carehomes because it sends people to remind patients when to take meds. It can identify who has missed their medication and remind them to take it by an alert or sending someone to assist with administration. 

Want to find out more about the Safey Smart inhaler? Visit their website and see what it could do for you and your loved ones suffering from asthma. You never know, it could end up saving a life.