“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 each day with meals and a full glass of water. Could potentially cause excessive drowsiness.”
Just picture attempting to successfully juggle many medications, from a variety of doctors, taken at multiple times each day, with varied and perhaps even conflicting recommendations. Welcome to the day to day routine of numerous seniors, 36% of whom take as many as five or more prescription medicines simultaneously.
Medication mismanagement for older adults is naturally prevalent and can be responsible for frightening outcomes. Implementing a recurring medication inventory can help ensure older adults stay safe and compliant with doctors’ prescribed medicine regimens. These tips, thanks to the Franklin senior care team at Live Free Home Health Care, are an excellent starting point:
- Store prescriptions within one secure, central location. Collect all medications the senior takes on an everyday basis, both OTC and doctor prescribed, and put together in a durable bin. Generally, the bathroom medicine cabinet is not a great storage area, given that the humidity and warmth could affect specific prescriptions. If a particular medicine has to be refrigerated, keep an empty bottle as a placeholder into the bin to function as a reminder. Store the bin in a cool, dry location, safely beyond the reach of little children and pets.
- Assemble a list of all of the medications being taken. Be certain that you include in your list each medication’s name, how frequently and what dosages are prescribed, the name of the prescribing physician, plus the reason for taking the med. When finished, share the list with the older adult’s primary care physician or pharmacist for an evaluation to make certain that there are no unwanted contraindications. Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to analyze and update the list on a routine basis.
- Use a pill organizer. Pill organizers are important in making sure meds are taken correctly. At the beginning of each week, sort and put proper doses of every medication into the appropriate day/time box. Then go back and follow up to be sure things are in order.
- Examine instructions. It is imperative to be familiar with exactly how each medication must be taken (such as with or without food, whether or not the pill may be broken or crushed, etc.), and what potential side effects may be anticipated. If any instructions are not clear, consult with the prescribing physician immediately for clarification. Gather these details into one concise document and review/update on a frequent schedule.
- Retain the services of a professional caregiver to help. Monitoring multiple meds correctly could very well be intimidating, and the addition of a trained professional caregiver to provide medication reminders can be hugely helpful.
At Live Free Home Health Care, our care staff are always available to make sure meds are taken precisely when and how they’re prescribed, in conjunction with a full range of customized in-home care services to empower senior loved ones to stay secure, independent, and flourishing. Get in touch with our Franklin senior home care experts at 603-217-0149 for a no cost in-home consultation for more information!