Medication management is important in many elderly people who take several drugs daily in order to treat their discomforts and diseases. Let’s take a look at some helpful medication management tips that you can apply at home with your elderly parents or loved ones.
Today, our elderly parents take more medications than ever before due to their many chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and other discomforts brought by old age. This said, medication management is really important to avoid confusion and redundancy that can be dangerous to their health.
Your elderly loved ones may have multiple medications for chronic illnesses brought about by their old age and other conditions. Some may be taken thrice a day, some once a day. Then there are also medicine for certain illnesses as they happen, such as flu, cough, headaches, and many others. On top of all these, there are also vitamin and mineral supplements.
Therefore, it is important to keep track of the drugs they take on a daily basis. With all these medications, it is easy to lose track and forget to give the right medicines at the right times, have expired drugs, and even give redundant medications. These can increase health risks for the elderly, causing harmful drug interactions and maybe even overdose.
So if you are a caregiver or family member of an elderly, here are 7 medication management tips that you can use.
7 Medication management tips for the elderly
- Make a list of all the medications that they are taking, from prescription drugs to over-the-counter products as well as supplements.
- Make an inventory of all the medication and other medical and herbal products that they are taking and using. Look at the labels as well as expiration dates.
- Talk to your doctor and pharmacist and share to them your medication list. This will help them see if there are redundant medication that can potentially have side effects on the elderly, especially since at their age, they metabolize medicine much slower compared to younger people.
- Organize. Organize your elderly’s medicine cabinet. It’s important that all medication can be found in one place. Throw out medicine that are not being used as well as those that are already expired. If the doctor can prescribe alternatives to multiple medicines, take note of these to streamline medication.
- Get a medicine organizer or dispenser to avoid confusion and to ensure that the right set of drugs are taken at the right times. There are many medication organizers that have slots for morning and night for each day of the week. These have labels to help guide you in better medication management.
- Ask questions. Elderly can have swallowing difficulties, and taking 20 or so medicines daily can be too much for them. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for alternatives if there are medicines that can be taken in liquid form or sprinkled into food for easier administration.
- Learn to adapt. Changes in medications may be met with resistance from the elderly, so be prepared. Learn to adapt to the changing needs and demands of the elderly and their condition. When it comes to medication management, the most effective ones are those that help you provide better health and quality of life for the elderly.