Senior Safety Tips: Medication Management
Medication management for seniors can become complicated as the list of prescriptions grows. As more prescriptions are added to the mix, that creates potential danger with more side effects and dosages to keep track of. With that said, here are 5 valuable tips from our assisted living team serving Gloucester County. These safe medication management tips will help your loved one overcome common medication mistakes many seniors tend to make:
- Create a medication list for your loved one. Making a list of all the medications they take, including the name, dosage, frequency, and why they take it will help keep better track of your senior parent’s health. Also, make sure another loved one or caregiver has a copy in case there’s a medical emergency and hospital physicians need mom or dad’s medication history stat. Attach the list to the refrigerator or in another highly visible place so it can be easily updated and found by others if needed.
- Refills come up fast! The best way for your loved one to avoid missing any doses is to keep track of when refills are coming up. It’s also important to remember that their doctor may require a check-up appointment before authorizing more refills. If that’s the case for mom or dad, be sure to plan their check-ups ahead of time.
- Take notice of adverse drug reactions. All of your loved one’s doctors and their pharmacists should be aware of every medication prescribed to them before adding any new ones. This is because some medications don’t work well or can cause unfavorable side effects when combined and taken together. When your senior parent starts a new medication, remember to ask their doctor if there’s a specific way they should be taking it. For instance, most medications should be taken with food in order to avoid an upset stomach. If your loved one has an adverse reaction to a medication, report it to their doctor immediately so they can provide a solution or alternative medication that may work better.
- Take your medications as prescribed daily. It’s important that mom or dad understands that making changes to the dosage of a prescription without talking to a doctor can be dangerous. Stopping particular medications abruptly or not taking them as frequently as directed can cause serious health risks to developing. That’s why it’s so important to keep medications organized with a helpful tool like a pillbox. A box with multiple clearly labeled sections for each day can be especially helpful if your loved one takes many different medicines in the morning and at night. You could also set alarm reminders for you and your loved one so they take all their medicine on time each day.
- Store medicine properly and dispose of old, expired medications to avoid confusion. Most prescriptions are stored in a cool, dry place out of reach of pets or young children that visit the home. Generally, seniors choose to store their medications in a bathroom drawer or cabinet, but it’s important to make sure the steam from the shower does not reach the pills. Another helpful organization tip is to always carefully dispose of prescriptions your loved one no longer needs. The safe and environmentally-friendly way to dispose of is through the prescription drop-off sites located at most pharmacies. You should also weed out expired bottles because the medication is not as effective after the expiration date.
Prioritizing senior safety at UMC at Pitman
At United Methodist Communities at Pitman, our associates are on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist senior residents in any way they require. Whether it’s bathing, dressing for the day, or managing multiple medications, our highly-skilled associates are ready and willing to lend a helping hand.
For more information about our assisted living services and safety precautions for seniors at UMC at Pitman in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: