“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. Can result in excessive drowsiness.”
Picture trying to effectively manage multiple medications, from a number of 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 up to 5 or maybe more prescription medications concurrently.
Not surprisingly, medication management for seniors is challenging and can end up with serious outcomes, especially if a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia. Because of this, it’s essential to implement a strategy to ensure older adults stay safe and compliant with doctors’ prescribed prescription regimens. These pointers, thanks to Hearts at Home In-Home Care, are a good place to begin:
- Store prescriptions in one single secure, centralized location. Gather up all meds a senior loved one takes on an everyday basis, both over-the-counter and prescription, and put together in a heavy-duty container. By and large, the bathroom medicine cabinet will not be a great storage spot, mainly because dampness and heat may affect some medications. If a certain medicine is required to be refrigerated, keep an empty bottle as a placeholder in the bin to serve as a reminder. Store the bin in a cool, dry location, safely out of reach of young children and pets.
- Assemble an inventory of all of the medications being taken. Make certain to include in your log each medication’s name, how frequently and what dosages are prescribed, the name of the prescribing physician, plus the cause for taking the med. Once finished, share the list with the older adult’s primary care doctor or pharmacist for an assessment to make sure there aren’t any undesirable contraindications. Put a reminder in your phone or calendar to analyze and edit the list on a consistent basis.
- Make use of a pill organizer. Pill organizers are important in making certain meds are taken correctly. At the start of each week, sort and place correct doses of each medication in the correct day/time box. And then go back and verify to ensure everything is in order.
- Examine instructions. It’s essential to know precisely how each medication should be taken (for instance with or without food, if the pill could be broken or crushed, etc.), and what potential side effects could be expected. If any instructions are confusing, confer with the prescribing physician immediately for explanation. Compile this information into one succinct document and evaluate/update on a consistent schedule.
- Hire an experienced caregiver to help. Monitoring many different meds effectively may very well be daunting, and the addition of a trained professional caregiver to provide medication reminders can be hugely helpful.
At Hearts at Home In-Home Care, our care staff are always here to make certain meds are taken precisely when and exactly how they are prescribed, together with a complete variety of personalized in-home care services to inspire older adults to remain safe, independent, and thriving. Reach out to us at 913-440-4209 for more information on home care in Olathe and the surrounding areas. Schedule your complimentary in-home consultation today!