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Understanding The Importance of Medicine Management For Seniors

by | Jun 21, 2024 | Caregivers Support, Caregiving

Effective management of medications is crucial for individuals who encounter challenges comprehending the effects of their prescribed regimen and for those who fail to attain the desired outcomes. This particularly pertains to seniors who often grapple with remembering the correct medications and their respective schedules. Read on to understand the importance of medication management for seniors.

 

What are the serious consequences of medication mismanagement?

Seniors, whose kidneys and liver may struggle to adequately process excess drugs as they age, face heightened risks of complications arising from medication mismanagement. Among the potential side effects are memory loss, confusion, hallucinations, falls, accidents, drowsiness, loss of coordination, and malnutrition leading to weight loss.

 

#1: Consolidate all medications, vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements in a single location

Gather all medications and place them together in one designated spot. This practice facilitates a clear overview of the pills in use, helps prevent duplicate prescriptions for the same ailment, and ensures timely disposal of expired medications.

 

#2: Ensure proper storage of medications

Always store medications in cool, dry environments, and keep them inaccessible to children or pets.

 

#3: Maintain an updated medication list

Maintaining an accurate record of the medications, vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs your elderly loved one is taking is crucial for preventing potentially harmful drug interactions.

 

#4: Verify clarity of medication instructions

Confirm understanding between yourself and your elderly loved one regarding which medications should be taken together and which should be separated to mitigate adverse effects.

 

#5: Establish a medication reminder and tracking system

Given the multitude of prescriptions, seniors and caregivers may struggle to remember the timing of each dose. Implementing simple methods such as handwritten notes or utilizing smartphone timers and reminders can aid in tracking medication intake effectively. In other cases, the use of visual aids as a medication reminder system is effective for seniors who may not be technologically savvy. Visual aids such as pictures or written instructions can help people, particularly those with dementia or cognitive decline, understand what they need to do. For example, placing a picture of a pill next to a glass of water may prompt them to take their medication.

 

#6 Discard Expired or Discontinued Medications

Keeping track of your medications can be more difficult if you keep expired or discontinued medications around the house. We encourage our patients to dispose of discontinued and expired medications appropriately to reduce the risk of getting confused and adding them back into their rotation of medications.

In conclusion, if your loved one is managing multiple medications, it’s crucial to actively support their safety and well-being. Engage in open communication by inquiring about their medication regimen, frequency, and purpose. Encourage the use of reminder aids like pill boxes and periodically verify their proper utilization. Remain vigilant for any indications of side effects or drug interactions, promptly reaching out to their healthcare provider or pharmacist if concerns arise. Remember, your proactive involvement in assisting your loved one adhere to their medication schedule plays a vital role in their overall care and health maintenance.

About Growing Needs

About Growing Needs

Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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