“Take 2 hours after eating. Avoid exposure to sunlight while taking this medication.”
“Take on an empty stomach. Do not take with aspirin.”
“Take twice per day with meals and a full glass of water. May cause excessive drowsiness.”
What is medication management? Just think about trying to successfully juggle several prescriptions, from various doctors, taken at several times each day, with varied and perhaps even conflicting guidelines. For many seniors, 36% of whom take as many as five or more prescriptions daily, this is a familiar daily routine.
Medication mismanagement for seniors is understandably frequent, and can bring about serious consequences, making it vital to execute a strategy to make sure senior loved ones remain safe and compliant with doctors’ prescribed medication regimens. These tips, thanks to the home health care Elmhurst team at Inspired Home Care, are a great place to begin:
- Store prescriptions in one single secure, central location. Gather up all medications your loved one takes on a day-to-day basis, both OTC and prescription, and put together in a durable container. Generally speaking, the bathroom medicine cabinet will not be an ideal storage location, given that the dampness and warmth can impact specific prescriptions. If a certain medicine has to be refrigerated, keep an empty bottle as a placeholder in the bin to serve as a reminder. Keep the bin in a cool, dry place, safely out of reach of children and pets.
- Put together an inventory of all of the medications being taken. Make sure to include in your log every medication’s name, how frequently and what doses are prescribed, the name of the prescribing physician, and also the reason for using the med. When finalized, share the list with the older adult’s primary care physician or pharmacist for a review to ensure there are not any negative contraindications. Put a note on your phone or calendar to review and edit the list on a frequent basis.
- Use a pill organizer. Pill organizers are crucial in making certain meds are taken accurately. At the beginning of each week, sort and put correct doses of each medication in the correct day/time box. After that go back and verify to make sure everything is in order.
- Examine instructions. It’s important to be familiar with the correct way each medication ought to be taken (for instance with or without food, whether or not the pill may be broken or crushed, etc.), and what possible unwanted effects may be expected. If any instructions are ambiguous, seek advice from the prescribing physician right away for clarification. Compile this information into one concise document and review/update on a consistent basis.
- Choose a professional caregiver to help. Managing numerous meds effectively may be intimidating, and the addition of an experienced professional caregiver to give medication reminders can be extremely helpful.
At Inspired Home Care, our care staff are always here to make certain meds are taken precisely when and exactly how they are prescribed, in conjunction with a full selection of individualized in-home care services to empower the elderly to stay secure, independent, and thriving. Get in touch with our home health care Elmhurst experts at 847-787-7572 for a complimentary in-home consultation to find out more!