With over 10,000 prescription drugs available in the United States, it’s not surprising that so many older individuals – approximately one in three – are taking a minimum of five of them each and every day. And family caregivers know firsthand the difficulty of handling these medications for seniors. The truth is, studies show that around 55% of prescription medications are being taken incorrectly for a number of reasons, and the results can be incredibly harmful.
Reduce the risk for mistakes with these medication management tips for seniors, from the Rockingham elder care experts at Carolina Hearts Home Care:
Educate yourself on each medication.
If you’re unsure of the correct dose, management or side effects of a senior’s medications, ask the health care provider or pharmacist for the following types of details:
- The name of the drug (brand and generic)
- Why the medication is being prescribed
- The length and duration for taking the medication
- The proper dosage and time of day to take the medicine
- Potential side effects and drug interactions, in addition to how the medication should be taken (i.e. on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water, etc.)
Furthermore, make sure to ask the senior’s physician to routinely perform a medication review to verify which medications are still required and which ones could possibly be stopped.
Put together an up-to-date list of all medicines.
Creating a detailed list of all prescribed drugs, OTC medications, and vitamins and supplements that the older person is taking can be a big help at doctors’ appointments. This list should cover all of the information above, plus:
- The shape, size and color of the med (include a picture of the drug if possible)
- The prescribing doctor’s name and number
- The date each medication was first taken, and whether or not it should be refilled and taken continually
- The date the list was last updated
As one of the top-rated providers of Rockingham elder care and care in nearby areas, we can help put into practice these medication management tips for older adults, as well as provide a full range of customized home care services to enhance health and quality of life. Contact us at 1-855-277-2005 for more information and to find out if our services are available in your area.