UP to half of older people may not be taking their medicines as intended, a pharmacist warned today.
Fiona Smith, who works at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said confusion can be common among higher age groups, where people are often taking several drugs. She urged people to find out more about their medication.
Older people are the focus of this year's Ask About Medicines Week which runs from Monday.
Figures show 83% of the over-64s in the region have been prescribed medicines in the last 12 months, compared to 63% of 55-64 year olds, 45% of 35-54 year olds and 35% of 15-34 year olds.
Mrs Smith, directorate pharmacist in the older people and complex care services, said: "Older people need to be encouraged to ask questions about their medicines, especially as they are more likely to take a number of different medicines.
"Confusion about medicines can lead to their inappropriate use which is potentially dangerous."
Pharmacists will be on hand each afternoon at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital during the week to answer questions and to handout leaflets aimed at helping older people get the best from their medication.
They will also be completing medicine reminder cards for older patients on the wards and new bags, to help keep medicines together, are also being given out. The re-sealable carrier bags will help keep the medication together during a hospital stay and be used to transport them home.
To find out more about the week visit www.askaboutmedicines.org