Antibiotic Resistance, Overuse and Misuse in Adults Over 65

Two older adults stand smiling. Test beside them reads "We're antibiotic wise. We learn about antibiotics so we can chat confidently with our doctor."

Misinformation about antibiotics leads to overuse, misuse and resistance

Antibiotics are the most common treatment for bacterial infections. They don’t work for viral infections like colds, flu or COVID-19. Antibiotic resistant bacteria develop if you take antibiotics when you don’t need them. When these bacteria spread, it undermines modern medicine.

Why should adults over 65 be concerned about antibiotic resistance?

If you are over 65 years of age you are more likely to have an infection. You may have a weakened immune system or live in a care home in close contact with others who may be ill.

As well, you may visit health care settings like hospitals more often. Infections can spread easily in these settings. Antibiotics may also interact with other medications you are already taking.

What you can do to prevent antibiotic resistance

  1.  If you are being prescribed antibiotics, ask your health-care provider about the best option for you. 
  2.  If prescribed antibiotics, discuss with your health-care provider side effects and interactions with other medications. 
  3.  Always follow your health-care provider’s directions on how to take antibiotics.

Reduce the spread of infections to help yourself and others. 

Reducing and preventing the spread of infections in the first place decreases the need for antibiotics, and will help us all to stay healthier.

  1. Wash your hands often with plain soap and water.
  2. Clean common surfaces with regular cleaner and water – you don’t need antibacterial cleaners for most home cleaning.
  3. Store, handle and prepare food safely.
  4. Sneeze into a sleeve or tissue to avoid spreading germs
  5. Stay active and develop healthy habits to keep your immune system strong.
  6. Stay home when you feel sick.
  7. Keep up to date on your vaccinations.


Antibiotics and Adults Over 65 – Brochure

Download the brochure to learn more about how adults over 65 can be more Antibiotic Wise.

Antibiotics and Adults Over 65 – Poster

Download and use the poster to raise awareness about issues related to antibiotics in adults over 65.

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