“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. Could potentially cause excessive drowsiness.”
Imagine seeking to successfully juggle many medications, from different doctors, taken at several times throughout the day, with assorted as well as perhaps even conflicting instructions. Welcome to the daily routine of a number of seniors, 36% of whom take up to five or maybe more prescription drugs simultaneously.
Medication mismanagement for older adults is understandably widespread, and can result in serious results, making it important to create a strategy to make sure older adults stay safe and compliant with doctors’ prescribed medication regimens. These tips, from the companion care Baltimore team at Home With You Senior Care, are a good place to begin:
- Keep prescriptions in one single secure, centralized location. Gather up all medications the senior takes on a consistent schedule, both over-the-counter and doctor-prescribed, and place together in a heavy-duty container. In most cases, the bathroom medicine cabinet is not a great storage area, given that the dampness and heat can impact specific prescriptions. If a certain medicine ought to be refrigerated, keep an empty bottle as a placeholder in the bin to function as a reminder. Keep the bin in a cool, dry location, safely beyond the reach of young children and pets.
- Put together a list of all medications being taken. Make certain you include in your log each medication’s name, how frequently and what doses are prescribed, the name of the prescribing doctor, as well as the cause for taking the med. When finished, share the list with the older adult’s primary care doctor or pharmacist for an evaluation to ensure there aren’t any undesirable contraindications. Put a note on your phone or calendar to examine and update the list on a routine basis.
- Use a pill organizer. Pill organizers are excellent in making certain meds are taken correctly. At the beginning of each week, sort and place proper doses of every medication inside the correct day/time box. Following that go back and follow up to ensure things are in order.
- Review instructions. It’s imperative to know the correct way each medication should be taken (for instance with or without food, whether or not the pill can be broken or crushed, etc.), and what possible side effects might be expected. If any instructions are confusing, check with the prescribing physician promptly for clarification. Gather this information into one concise report and review/update on a routine basis.
- Choose an expert caregiver to help. Managing multiple meds effectively could very well be daunting, and the addition of a trained professional caregiver to provide medication reminders can be very helpful.
At Home With You Senior Care, providers of memory care Fulton, MD families trust most, our care staff are always here to ensure meds are taken exactly when and how they are prescribed, along with a full variety of customized in-home care services to empower senior loved ones to stay secure, independent, and flourishing. Reach out and speak with our home care experts at 410-756-0959 for a no cost in-home consultation for more information!