“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 a day with meals and a full glass of water. Can result in excessive drowsiness.”
Managing medications is challenging. Just picture trying to successfully juggle a number of prescriptions, from multiple physicians, taken at several times throughout the day, with varied and possibly even contradictory instructions. Welcome to the day to day routine of numerous aging parents, 36% of whom take up to 5 or even more prescription drugs concurrently.
Medicine mismanagement for seniors is frequent, and may result in frightening outcomes, making it essential to execute an approach to make certain senior loved ones remain safe and compliant with doctors’ prescribed prescription regimens. These tips from Anthem Home Care are an excellent place to start:
- Store medicines within one safe, central location. Collect all medications the senior takes on a regular schedule, both OTC and prescription, and put them together in a heavy-duty container. Generally speaking, the bathroom medicine cabinet isn’t an ideal storage area, mainly because dampness and heat can impact some medications. If a particular medication ought 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, securely out of reach of young children and pets.
- Put together a list of all medications being taken. Make sure that you include in your record each medication’s name, how frequently and what amounts are prescribed, the name of the prescribing physician, and the reason for taking the med. When finalized, share the list with the senior’s primary care physician or pharmacist for an assessment to ensure there aren’t any unwanted contraindications. Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to analyze and update the list on a consistent basis.
- Make use of a pill organizer. Pill organizers are excellent in ensuring meds are taken properly. At the beginning of every week, sort and place correct doses of each medication into the correct day/time box. Then go back and verify to ensure things are in order.
- Examine instructions. It is essential to be familiar with precisely how each medication must be taken (for example with or without food, whether or not the pill may be broken or crushed, etc.), and what likely negative effects might be expected. If any instructions are confusing, talk to the prescribing doctor right away for clarification. Compile this information into one succinct report and evaluate/update on a frequent schedule.
- Retain the services of a professional caregiver to help. Monitoring multiple meds effectively can be intimidating, and the addition of an experienced professional caregiver to give medication reminders can be extremely helpful.
Anthem Home Care, one of the leading home care agencies in Portland, TX and the surrounding areas, is always here to help seniors with properly managing medications so they’re taken exactly when and how they’re prescribed, together with an entire selection of customized in-home care services to encourage older adults to remain secure, independent, and thriving. Contact us at 361.643.2323 for a no cost in-home consultation.