Jerry Jr. is a 67-year old senior who has a history of high blood pressure, a kidney transplant and is a diabetic. He was first admitted to the hospital in October due to high blood pressure; he was acting sporadically and was refusing to take his medication. It should also be noted that Mr. Jerry Jr. recently lost his wife, so his problem may be a result of grief. After being in the hospital for a few days, Jerry Jr. was transferred to a nursing facility to recover and given new instructions on how to take his medication. The medication was altered while he was in a hospital, to better manage his symptoms. He was later released and returned home, and the episodes began all over again. Jerry Jr. returned to his pre-hospitalization habits: He was not taking his medication as prescribed, drinking alcohol, acting sporadically and not eating. The home nurse contacted his family to express concern and to inform them that his vital signs were life-threatening. He was refusing to go to the hospital, but his family could not leave him at home in his condition so they notified first responders. Jerry Jr. was not in a good state when the first responders arrived, so he was sent back to the hospital for further evaluation. This time, he was sent to a different care facility, with new instructions sent over from the hospital. The family was very concerned about Jerry Jr.’s well-being and noticed that he had been isolated from his family for two years because of Covid-19, as well as grief over the loss of his wife last year. This made the family realize that Jerry Jr. needed assistance at home once he was released from the nursing home. None of his family had been to his home in the past two years, so this time a plan was put in place for family to assist him at home. When he was released to go home, the home nurse and the family members noticed the medication he was taking and the regiments that the doctors at the two facilities and his primary doctor were all different. The family contacted Sister Ansar to do a Medication Safety Training and also a review.
During this training, Sister Ansar advised the family to put all his presciptions in order by name of the medication. Jerry Jr. was receiving his medications from four different pharmacies, and getting different strengths of the same of the same medications. Sister Ansar advised them to contact his primary physician right away to do a medication review of all his prescriptions. The family followed the instructions and scheduled an in-person meeting for Sister Ansar to perform a medication review with the forms from the progrm, so that there’s a indication of all of his medications. When Jerry Jr.’s doctor reviewed the chart, he became upset because of the changes in his patient’s medication. The doctor prepared an all-new medication chart for the family. The doctor believed that since Jerry Jr. was exhibiting the same symptoms, the medication should be changed to fit the course of treatment. Formerly, without authorization from the hospital or his primary care provider, Jerry Jr.’s prescriptions and treatment had been modified. Sister Ansar performed an at-home visit with the family to go over all medications, including old and expired medications, and to help set up new medications as prescribed by his primary doctor. During this review there were old and expired medications, dating back to 2017, and more than 80 medication bottles gathered to take to a medication disposal site. The family was advised to only use one pharmacy, so as to avoid duplicate medications being issued. When Sister Ansar followed up on Jerry Jr.’s situation, she learned that he was doing better, taking his medication and eating, even though he continues to grieve over the loss of his wife. The family thanks Sister Ansar for her assistance in getting Jerry Jr.’s medication back on track. The future of the medication safety training program has been firmly established over multiple years, with USOAC having been on the forefront of this senior injury prevention effort. With its success institutionalized through the county EMS and the establishment of numerous medication disposal sites throughout the county and administered by Alameda County Department of Environmental Health, USOAC will continue to monitor senior medication management and disposal, but will deemphasize it as an organizational priority.