With COVID 19 on the rise, senior citizens have a high chance of contracting various diseases due to less immunity levels. Medication management is an important preventive measure to avoid potentially serious health hazards for the elderly. For seniors who live at home, understanding steps to managing medications effectively can help them stay safe and healthy. In this medication management guide we will empower seniors, even caregivers, and family members with useful information about medication use, storage, organization, and more. Putting a simple system in place and taking care of the basics helps seniors avoid common medication mistakes like taking the wrong drug, missing doses, or taking more than prescribed.
10 effective medication management tips for seniors
Follow these simple yet useful tips to help yourself prevent medication-related health hazards:
1. Keep a detailed list
It’s important to have an up-to-date list of medications, vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. The list should also have what the medication is for and any side effects you notice which can be consulted with the doctor as well. Not only can this prevent from having bad interactions with your daily medications, but it will also allow you and your doctor to see a more comprehensive view of your treatment.
2. Store your medications properly
In general, medication should be kept in a cool and dry place because moisture and heat can affect drugs. Make sure it is kept out of reach from children and pets. For medication that requires specific storage, like refrigeration, follow the doctor or pharmacist’s instructions and don’t forget to check expiry dates.
3. Set adequate reminders
With so many medications, it can be stressful for seniors and caregivers to remember when to take each dose. A medication reminder system and tracking log can help older people know that they’ve taken the correct medication at the prescribed times or not.
4. Pre-sort medications for the week
Using a pill organizer can help pre-sort medications for the week. The best type of pill organizer is the one with enough compartment for every dose that is required throughout the day. One added advantage of pill organization is that if you fill your organizer at the beginning of the week it can alert about any medications that need to be refilled, giving you plenty of time to contact your doctor or pharmacy.
5. Understand potential side effects
Certain drugs may affect seniors in different ways, including changes in weight, sleep patterns, hunger, or balance. Consult with the doctor if you are experiencing any such side effects.
6. Visit one pharmacy only
At any cost, avoid pharmacy hopping as it creates confusion but even poses a danger to your health. Pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge and information which can be incredibly helpful in maintaining your health. Visiting one pharmacy can help the pharmacist monitor your medications and check for drug interactions.
7. Ask questions and read medication labels
Read the medication label thoroughly to understand dosages and learn about important interactions along with their side effects. Reading medication labels is important for both prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. If you have any doubts regarding anything, call your doctor or pharmacist.
8. Double check for negative drug interactions
To be sure there aren’t any interactions that the doctor or pharmacist could have missed, use an online drug interaction checker. If you find anything wrong in the interactions, call your pharmacist for the clarification right away. They will surely help you regarding such errors but don’t make any changes on your own.
9. Don’t opt for self prescribing
Self-medicating increases the risk of overmedication and drug interactions that can cause serious harm to your health. If a medication is not providing the expected relief, it’s always safer to call the doctor and ask for advice.
10. Check and plan ahead for medication refills
It’s essential to get refills on time so that you don’t have a shortage of misses at the end. The most convenient solution would be a doctor’s prescription of 90 day supply for the medication through a mail order pharmacy. That’s how medications will be mailed accordingly and you need to refill once in a few months.
With these effective medication management tips, you can keep yourself healthy and stay organized. At The Chennai Homes, we have professional and reliable healthcare services that can help you with effective medication management and planning to help you keep your health in check and stable. We have profound doctors and on-call nurses ready to tackle any serious health issues you face. Apart from that, we have a well-equipped medical center and conduct routine health check-ups to make sure our residents are fit and healthy. Do you want to know more about us? Reach out to us at +91 99419 95555 and our representatives will be happy to walk you through what we do.