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swedish learning 21; seattle; swedish


Geriatrics | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Quality Improvement


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to identify medication use concerns in this community.

Background: In this study, Swedish Geriatric Medicine Fellow partnered with this community to identify medication use concerns in this population.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are intended to support residents as they age in place. These communities tend to be well resourced but less studied. This survey attempts to identify medication use concerns in this population. Mirabella CCRC has 324 Independent living (IL) residents, 82 of which are couples. The average age is 85 years. The current cost of an IL unit is from $4673- 6545 per month. This survey is part of a larger initiative to better understand barriers to aging in place in this specific population.

Methods: A ten-question survey was provided to all 324 residents. Residents self completed the survey. Questions included medication numbers, frequency, aid in administration, ease of access, and ease of self-administration, use of over-the-counter medications, supplements, and future concerns of medication management. Residents could leave comments.

Results: There was a response rate of 217 (67%). Thirty eight percent were taking more than 5 medications, 91% took medications once or twice a day, 9% took meds three times a day or more. Eighteen percent had aid in medication management, 22% and 20% had difficulty opening/closing and reading bottles respectively. Medication access was an issue for 1%. Nine percent experienced side effects, 5% of SE were CNS SE. Vitamins or supplements were taken by 85% with 14% taking OTC sleep aids. OTC pain medications (Tylenol, NSAIDS) were taken by 36%. Concerns about managing medicines in the future were noted by 23% with 5% having concerns that cognitive problems may affect self-medication management. Difficulty remembering medications was noted by 12%.

Conclusion: CCRCs represent unique communities requiring unique considerations for medication usage. Cost was not noted to be of concern. Opening/closing and reading labels was of concern. The common use of OTC medications for pain and sleep presents a potential area of intervention. Pharmacy involvement (newsletters, online talks) could address non-medication pain reduction, limitation of sleep medications, and aid in providing appropriate medication bottles. Qualitative analysis could be used to further address resident concerns of cognitive decline and ability to self manage medications.







Conference / Event Name

Swedish Learning and Celebration Day 2021-22


Swedish Medical Center, Seattle

Medication Usage in Independent Living: A Continuing Care Retirement Community Aging in Place Initiative