As people get older and many diseases cause discomfort or disruption in daily life, medication can play a big part in older people’s daily life. However, elderly can be at risk of overmedication and negative reactions, and this is why better medication management is key. There are several ways to lower the chances of these problems.
Below are tips for better medication management that you, as a family of older adults, can consider:
Better Medication Management for Elders
- Make a list. Keep a list of all the medications you take, whether they’re prescription or non-prescription. List also those you may not take regularly, but only as needed. To be more specific, this list should include prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements, ointments, and creams. Also write down what each of them are for, their corresponding doses, instruction for taking or administration, any negative interactions or side effects, and other information to note. You may bring this list with you whenever you have to see a healthcare professional.
- Review the medications regularly. You may review your medications each time you visit the doctor and go over your list with them. Be sure to also prepare any questions you may have. This is especially true if there are new medications. Be sure to also check your medications and check the expirations as well as the packaging. Watch out for any damages as well.
- Be vigilant about any signs of side effects. Each time you get a new prescription, medicine, or supplement for your elderly parent or loved one, always read the labels and prescription thoroughly. Find out how to take the medication, what it should or not be taken with, and any medication interactions. This will allow you to know what to look for in case there are any side effects. If you think your elderly loved ones are having a negative reaction, ask your healthcare provider or physician as soon as possible.
- Learn about OTC drugs. You may think that OTC drugs are harmless, have fewer side effects, and can be taken easily with other prescription drugs, but that’s not really the case, This is especially true for your elderly loved ones especially if they are taking other medication or have various health conditions. Some OTC may make your elderly’s condition worse, or interact with their other medicines, so it’s best to learn about them. Make sure to ask your elderly loved ones’ physician about this. Also, be careful to take these OTC medicines at the right time and in the recommended way.
- Understand the problems you may encounter. There may be situations that may hamper your elderly loved ones when it comes to proper medication management. One of these is that they may have a hard time understanding the directions on the labels. The print may be too small, so you must make sure to explain these to your seniors or print our larger labels for them. They may also have a hard time opening medicine containers, pouring medications, or even filling a glass of water. Make sure you have a pill organizer with labels so that it’s easy for them and the doses for each day, or even time of day, is clear.
Remember, better medication management takes effort and practice. Medications are there to manage your elderly loved ones’ conditions, and they will not work if they are not used properly. Even worse, they may cause serious health issues.