Medication management is incredibly important for seniors, especially since studies show that that 36% of seniors take 5 or more prescription drugs. Putting a simple system in place can help avoid common mistakes like taking the wrong medication or missing doses. These 6 tips will help you or your loved one better manage their medications.
Create & Maintain an Updated Medication List
Keeping an accurate list of all your medications, including generic and brand names, dosages, and the reason for taking the drug, will help you maintain a full picture of your overall health. Bring this list with you whenever you visit your doctor or pharmacist because the more information they have, the better they can help you solve issues and be aware of any adverse effects or drug interactions.
Gather All Medications in One Location
It can be easy to lose track of medications, supplements, and vitamins if they’re stored in many different locations. Keep pills where they’re easily accessible and store them in a cool, dry place unless they have specific storage requirements, such as refrigeration.
Collect everything in a clear, plastic storage bin to ensure it stays together, and if needed, keep a separate bin for backup medication that is only used occasionally. Take the necessary precautions to keep your medications safely away from children and pets. You can even pre-sort your medication for the upcoming week to make sure you don’t miss a dose.
Set Up a Reminder & Tracking System
A medication reminder and tracking system can help remind you to take the correct medications at the right times. You can do this by simply taking notes with a paper and pen or create a chart to record your medication times to ensure that doses weren’t missed.
To create reminders for yourself, you can set a series of alarms on your mobile device or a basic alarm clock, or you can even use a medication management app. Creating a routine that’ll help you remember to take your medication, like making it a habit to take certain medications with meals, is also a helpful reminder method.
Know the Side Effects of Your Medication
If you know the possible side effects and interactions of your medications, you can be more aware of any changes in your health that are occurring because of a new prescription or a combination of medications.
Minimize the Medical Providers and Pharmacists You See
Keeping the number of people you see to a minimum is better for you and for the people who coordinate your care. By using just one pharmacy to dispense and review your medications, this provides another layer of review to ensure appropriate use and dosage and to reduce the risk of adverse interactions of drugs.
It’s important for you to fully understand the medication you’re taking and how it might affect you. Make sure to ask many questions to your medical provider and pharmacist about proper use, dosage, and any potential side effects. If you’re unsure about a prescription you’ve received, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion if necessary.
Medication management is crucial for seniors, at The Canopy, our dedicated staff is here to help. Give our staff a call today at (386) 515-7215 or visit us online and check out the wide range of activities our locations have to offer.