Serving the Elderly Through Safe Medication Management

Posted by on November 18, 2019 in Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

For most seniors, taking several medications in a day is a task they can easily forget. For example, taking multiple medications at a go could cause some mix-up. According to some studies, about 87% of seniors consume a single prescription drug. However, 36% take at least 5 or more pills, whereas 38% go for over the counter medicines. Elderly people should take medicine in the right way to manage their health conditions. For this reason, medication management is significant for seniors. Proper system for medication management enables seniors to take their drugs on time without missing doses, or overdosing. Here are some tips to assist your senior loved ones to safely manage their medication.

1. Gather all medications and put them in one location

Storing medicines in different locations can make it difficult to track prescribed ones. You can easily forget where you placed your vitamins, over the counter drugs, and supplements. Some senior loved ones may store prescriptions in the kitchen, bedside table or any other place. Such action may result in drug mix-up for the elderly. For example, combining over the counter drugs with prescription medicines could cause negative reactions. Ensure you gather your older loved one’s drugs in one place for easy tracking. Also, use a separate bin for rarely used medicines.

2. Store the medicine correctly

Medications are usually stored in a cool, and dry place so a bathroom cabinet isn’t the right place to keep them. This is because heat and moisture can cause the drugs to spoil. Also, medication delivery service ensures the drugs are packed well to prevent damage during transportation. This ensures safe delivery of drugs, which makes it fit for consumption. Again, all drugs must be stored away from kids and pets. A doctor’s prescription should guide you on how to store the medication.

3. Double-check for negative drug interactions

The elderly can take several medications in a day. Therefore, it is significant to double-check those medications to ensure all are safe, and will not cause negative drug interactions. You can use an online medication interaction checker in case your pharmacist or doctor might have missed some information. However, if there are any drug interactions, call the doctor for a way forward.

4. Medication Instructions should be clear

It is easier to follow the doctor's instructions if you have the medication. This reduces the dangers that come with negative drug interactions, or side effects. Ensure your senior loved one understands how to take the medications safely, the number of pills, and at what time. For instance, some drugs are better taken on an empty stomach, and others while full. If you are taking care of senior ones, ensure they understand safe medications taken at a go, and the ones to be spaced out. When you do this, you will significantly reduce the negative side effects of a drug.

5. Understand medication side effects

You should understand what effects a medication can pose to an elderly person. Also, ensure you know the drug interactions of all prescribed medications. This will enable you to detect any health changes occurring to a senior one after consuming new drugs, or adding doses. Contact a doctor immediately if you notice the elderly reacting with the drugs. Some of the common side effects of drugs may include; falling risks, and upset stomach among others. You may even notice the senior one mimic dementia symptoms as a sign of drug effects.

6. Keep an up-to-date drug list

It’s easier to avoid adverse drug interactions if you understand the kind of medication the senior one is taking. That is why you need to keep an up-to-date medication list for vitamins, supplements, and any other medication. Also, you should know how often the drug should be taken as well as the dosage. Understanding what disease or symptoms the drug is treating is also important.

7. Pre-sort medications

You need to plan accordingly when it comes to sorting medications for the senior ones. For example, you can use a pill organizer to assist the elderly in pre-sorting their weekly pills. A pill organizer should have sufficient compartments for each dose an elderly will need the whole day. For instance, 28 compartments means 4 doses to be consumed daily for 7 days. Some pills need to be split, hence doing it earlier and adding the halves inside the pill organizer is vital.

Conclusion

Medication management is crucial for older adults. Most seniors need some form of assistance to take their medication in the right doses, and on time. This means a careful and systematic approach will help the patients in their specific goals. Also, the number of medication an elderly uses determines the risk factor for negative drug reactions. Patients who are unable to visit pharmacies can seek medication delivery service in ensuring drugs are brought on time.

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