“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 cause excessive drowsiness.”
Imagine seeking to effectively manage several prescriptions, from various doctors, taken at several times each day, with varied and perhaps even conflicting recommendations. Welcome to the day to day routine of countless older adults, 36% of whom take as many as five or more prescription medications concurrently.
Medicine mismanagement for seniors is understandably prevalent, and may produce frightening consequences. Proper prescription management can help seniors remain safe and compliant with doctors’ recommended regimens. These pointers, are a great place to begin with proper prescription management for seniors:
- Store prescriptions in a single secure, centralized location. Collect all medications the individual takes on a regular schedule, both OTC and doctor prescribed, and put together in a sturdy bin. Usually, the bathroom medicine cabinet isn’t a great storage location, since the moisture and warmth could affect specific prescriptions. If a certain medicine needs to be refrigerated, keep an empty bottle as a placeholder into the bin to function as a reminder. Keep the bin in a cool, dry location, securely out of reach of little children and pets.
- Put together an inventory of all medications being taken. Be sure to include in your record each medication’s name, how frequently and what doses are prescribed, the name of the prescribing physician, together with the reason for taking the med. When completed, 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. Put a reminder in your phone or calendar to review and update the list on a routine basis.
- Use a pill organizer. Pill organizers are excellent in ensuring meds are taken correctly. At the beginning of each week, sort and place proper doses of every medication in the correct day/time box. Then go back and double check to confirm everything is in order.
- Review instructions. It is essential to know precisely how each medication must be taken (such as with or without food, whether or not the pill can be broken or crushed, etc.), and what potential unwanted effects might be expected. If any instructions are ambiguous, consult with the prescribing doctor immediately for explanation. Gather this information into one succinct report and evaluate/update on a consistent schedule.
- Hire a professional caregiver to assist. Managing a variety of meds effectively can be stressful, and the addition of an experienced professional caregiver to give medication reminders can be very helpful.
At Morning Glory Home Care, our care staff are always here to make sure meds are taken exactly when and how they’re prescribed, together with an entire variety of personalized in-home care services to empower older adults to remain secure, independent, and flourishing. Email or call our senior care experts at 618-667-8400 for a complimentary in-home consultation or for more information on the best home care in Belleville and the surrounding area.