Understanding Medication Management for Seniors
If you have ever cared for an aging loved one, or are getting older yourself, you will likely be familiar with the importance of medication management and how it can sometimes be difficult to keep it all straight. With age comes the potential to have multiple chronic conditions that will require several prescription drugs, sometimes prescribed from different doctors and healthcare professionals. Without proper management of these medications, the risk of harmful drug interactions and missing or doubling doses increases. By practicing responsible medication management, you can keep your loved ones safe.
Tips for Medication Management
If you are looking to help a loved one, such as a parent, to manage their medicines, here are a few tips you should keep in mind to make things easier and organized:
- Keep a list of all medications including doses and dosage times. There are many medication management tools available.
- It can be easy to only focus on prescription medicines, but it is important to note over-the-counter medicine as well. Things like vitamins, minerals, and herbal medicines can have interactions with over-the-counter medications and can lead to side effects and drug interactions.
- Show the list to a primary care physician or pharmacist. They may be able to identify potential issues.
- Consider a pill dispenser to keep daily medications organized.
- Store any medicine in a cool, dry place.
- If a new medication is introduced, pay attention to any changes in mood or behavior. This could be caused by one medicine negatively interacting with another.
Medication Management Through Home Health Care
For many people with loved ones who require focused medication management, it may not always be a safe or sustainable practice to do without help. If you cannot always be around and your loved one has dementia or struggles to remember their medications, it may be time to consider hiring a home health care professional to provide medication management. You can rest easy knowing your parent or loved one is getting exactly what they need, all in the privacy and comfort of their own home.