19 Apr Medication Management in Seniors
In the elderly population, proper medication management can bring years of good health. On the other hand, mismanaging medications can lead to serious consequences. Unfortunately, misuse of medications is a common problem for seniors. The elderly often take multiple medications at the same time. This is confusing and can result in missed doses, overdoses, or medications taken at the wrong time of day. The fallout of medication mismanagement can be serious including: disorientation, sleepiness, falls, harmful drug interactions, side effects which can mimic another condition (like dementia), or even death.
Keep Medication Management on Track
Talk with your pharmacist. Poor vision causes many seniors to misread the label on a prescription bottle. Ask your pharmacist about getting a larger typeface on your prescription labels.
Stay organized. Pill organizers are a popular and handy tool to help you keep track of medications on a daily basis. There are many different types of organizers available including twice-a-day models. There is even a pill organizer which sounds an alarm when it is time to take a medication. The alarm can be set up to four times a day.
Make a checklist. Type a list of every medication you take, including dosage, time of day taken, reason taken, and whether it should be taken with food. Make two copies and keep one on your refrigerator door and one in your wallet or purse.
Review medications with your doctor. Put all your medications in a bag to bring with you to every doctor’s appointment. This will provide a cross-check for both you and your doctor. Discuss any concerns and side effects at your appointment. Don’t stop taking any medication without first speaking with your doctor.
Refill early. Give yourself enough time to refill all prescriptions, especially before traveling.
Ask for Help
Talk to a family member. Ask a family member or good friend to organize your medications for you on a weekly basis. You will enjoy peace-of-mind knowing your medications are properly organized.
Consider moving. There are numerous senior living options available which offer assistance and supervision for all the daily activities of life including medication management.