November 20, 2014
According to a study published in 2004, chronic insomnia and related anxiety are more common among the elderly than the general population. Individuals with anxiety and chronic insomnia know what it is like to feel miserable on a daily basis. That is why many people who suffer from these conditions seek help from their doctors who often prescribe sedatives, including drugs known as benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin). However, more and more research is emerging that indicates that long-term use of these drugs can be dangerous.
Doctors and health organizations note that there are higher rates of falls, automobile accidents, cognitive impairment issues, and an increase in emergency room visits among older adults who take sedative-hypnotic medications like benzodiazepines. In fact, a new study notes that the more cumulative days a person uses these drugs, the higher the risk is that he or she will later be diagnosed with dementia.
Short-term use of the medications seems to still be OK, however. According to the study, older people who took prescribed doses for 90 days or fewer showed no increased risk for dementia. Find out more about this study and the risks of long-term benzodiazepine use in this article.
Continuum believes in providing the kind of home care in St. Louis that ensures our clients’ long-term health. That means not only providing knowledgeable, professional home care, but also educating our clients and their loved ones about new developments in elder care research. As the preferred provider of elder care in St. Louis, we believe that educating patients about potential risk factors is an important way to ensure their continued health and quality of life. Contact us today to find out more about the Missouri home health care services that we offer.