“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 food and a full glass of water. May cause excessive drowsiness.”
Just picture attempting to successfully manage multiple medications, from different physicians, taken at numerous times during the day, with assorted and possibly even conflicting directions. Welcome to the daily routine of a number of older adults, 36% of whom take up to five or even more prescription medications simultaneously. Taking multiple medications on a daily basis requires excellent medication management.
Unsurprisingly, medication mismanagement for older adults is common, and can lead to dire results, which makes it crucial to execute an approach to make certain aging parents remain safe and compliant with doctors’ prescribed medication regimens. These tips, thanks to the home health care Polk County team at At-Home Care Company, are a great place to begin:
- Keep medications in one single safe, centralized location. Gather up all medications the senior takes on an everyday basis, both OTC and doctor prescribed, and place them together in a heavy-duty bin. Typically, the bathroom medicine cabinet is not a great storage area, mainly because moisture and warmth could affect certain prescriptions. If a particular medicine is required 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 place, safely out of reach of young children and pets.
- Assemble an inventory of all of the medications being taken. Make sure that you include in your list each medication’s name, how frequently and what doses are prescribed, the name of the prescribing physician, together with the reason for using the med. Once finished, share the list with the senior’s primary care physician or pharmacist for a review to make certain that there are no negative contraindications. Set a note on your phone or calendar to check and revise the list on a frequent basis.
- Utilize a pill organizer. Pill organizers are helpful in making sure meds are taken accurately. At the beginning of each week, sort and place proper doses of each medication into the appropriate day/time box. After that go back and verify to make certain everything is in order.
- Review instructions. It is important to understand 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 likely negative effects could possibly be expected. If any instructions are not clear, seek the advice of the prescribing physician right away for clarification. Gather this information into one succinct record and review/update on a routine schedule.
- Retain the services of a professional caregiver to help. Monitoring many different meds effectively may be daunting, and the addition of an experienced professional caregiver to provide medication reminders can be very helpful.
At At-Home Care Company, our care staff is always here to ensure proper medication management so that meds are taken precisely when and exactly how they are prescribed, in conjunction with an entire range of customized in-home care services to empower seniors to stay secure, independent, and flourishing. Get in contact with the experts in home health care that Polk County families trust at (515) 292-2650. Reach out today to schedule a free in-home consultation, and for additional information!