An elder law attorney can help seniors to qualify for Medicaid so seniors can afford costly care as they age. When you get older, you may experience a number of health issues and getting healthcare services can be very expensive. You need to make sure you are able to afford any treatments that you may require and you need to make sure that you are able to pay for long-term care or nursing home care if such care becomes necessary due to infirmity or illness. Medicare does not provide as much coverage as many people think it does, so it’s important to work with Biddinger & Estelle to find out how you can get your essential care paid for as a senior without putting your assets at risk.
Seniors also need to be mindful of the kinds of care they receive and the types of medications that they take. For example, just recently, 6 ABC warned of the dangers of sleeping pill use for older seniors.
Sleeping Pill Risks a Concern for Senior Citizens
According to 6 ABC, many seniors are experiencing sleep difficulties. The trend towards senior insomnia is being called “worrisome,” especially because of the way in which older Americans are responding to their sleep difficulties.
Studies have shown far too many seniors are self-medicating when they have sleep problems. In fact, when the University of Michigan conducted a study, they discovered that among 1,000 adults, 60 percent indicate they either take a sleeping pill, a pain killer, or another type of over-the-counter drug on occasion in order to help them to fall asleep at night.
Using sleeping pills or pain killers on a regular basis is always a risk, but many seniors are compounding the danger because, as 6 ABC reports, a substantial number of the 60 percent of seniors who take sleeping pills to help them go to sleep do not tell their healthcare provider about their use of this medication.
There are a few reasons why this can be a big issue. One problem is that when a senior between the ages of 65 and 80 takes a sleeping pill, many of the medications they are taking have been linked to an increased risk of confusion or dizziness. Falling is also a major risk for seniors who take these medications, as a link has been shown between falls and the use of sleeping pills or pain killers among older Americans.
There is another big concern as well, when seniors take sleeping pills without telling their doctors. There is a danger the sleeping pill or other medication they are taking to help them get some rest will interact poorly with other drugs that they are using to treat various medical conditions. As seniors age, they are more likely to take one or more prescriptions, sometimes for serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or high cholesterol. When a sleeping pill reacts adversely with their existing medications, the consequences can often be very damaging to a senior’s health.
Getting Help from an Elder Law Attorney
To make sure you or your older relatives are not at risk due to medication interactions, it is important to visit a doctor before taking any type of medication — including prescription drugs or over-the-counter sleeping pills. If you have concerns about the costs of going to a doctor, you should talk with an elder law attorney about whether you can get covered by Medicaid or whether there are other benefits you may be eligible for to help you to defray medical expenditures that may be burdensome on a fixed income.
Seniors should also reach out to an elder law attorney to find out about community-based programs such as transportation to the doctor, programs offered through the VA, and other services that can enhance their quality of life and help them to stay healthy. Biddinger & Estelle is here to help seniors living in and around Michigan’s shoreline communities, so just give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online today to learn how we can assist you.