It is no secret that maintaining good health is essential to having an enjoyable life after retirement. Good medication management can play a vital role for our older loved ones to live a fun-filled life free of health worries.
That said, managing medications can be challenging for people of all ages, including older adults. After all, it is a process that involves many complexities such as dosage change, drug interactions, and so on.
For instance, older persons may need to take different prescription drugs simultaneously, increasing the risk of medication errors. Luckily, you can prevent these errors entirely with proper management practices.
At Seasons Retirement, our pharmacists will regularly be on-site to discuss medications using e-MAR. Also, in some cases, our residents have access to an in-house doctor or telemedicine system for medical consultations over the phone.
In this article, we’ll highlight some points your older ones will find helpful in medication management. They include:
It can be a bit challenging to keep track of every dosage if they are kept in different locations within the living space. On the other hand, storing medication in one place will help your older ones easily keep a good record of all their medications.
Moreover, by keeping all medications in one place – perhaps a bathroom medicine cabinet – your older relatives can easily access their doses, distinguish similar drugs, and dispose of expired pills.
For better organization and easy identification, your loved ones can separate their medications into different storage bins or bags.
It is common for people to ignore the ‘store in a cool and dry place’ instruction on most home products. However, in the case of pharmaceutical products, this directive must be consciously adhered to because heat and moisture can damage the drugs.
Furthermore, medicines are not only meant to be placed in cool and dry places but also kept out of the reach of children and pets.
It’s also highly recommended to seek professional advice for drugs with unique storage requirements like refrigeration.
This is an essential medication management tip for those caring for older adults. It is important to be aware of the drugs your older one is taking as this will help you keep track, preventing adverse drug reactions and interactions.
Whether they are vitamins, supplements, or even over-the-counter pills, make sure that you and your loved ones are aware of:
That being said, you should ensure this list stays up-to-date by filling it with current information from time to time.
Being well-organized is a brilliant medicine management idea for older adults. For instance, a pill calendar is an effective tool that can help your loved ones sort their medicines for a specific period.
Also, older folks can use a pill organizer, a storage tool with compartments, to keep every medicative dose they need for a specific period – typically a week or so.
This way, your parents and grandparents can easily take the correct dose of their medications at the appropriate time.
On most occasions, your older ones may have to take different kinds of drugs. While they don’t necessarily need to know the pharmacological composition of the medicines, your loved one must double-check if these drugs – when used together – can cause adverse reactions.
To confirm your older adult’s physician didn’t miss any drug interactions, encourage your parents and grandparents to use an online drug interaction checker each time they get a prescription list.
If they discover any negative pill interaction, your loved one should seek a professional’s advice instead of switching out the pills on their own.
When it comes to medicative drug use, it is vital for everyone, including older folks, to follow the doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions.
For instance, contrary to popular belief, medications don’t always require that one eats before using. Certain prescriptions are better taken on an empty stomach. So before using medications, it’s essential to check the instructions given by the prescribing doctor to know when it’s the right time to take the dose.
Furthermore, it is necessary to adhere to instructions to know how to use drugs that are not safe to be taken together and how to space the use of medicines that have harmful interactions.
When taking any medications simultaneously, remembering when to use each dose can be challenging. This is where a medication reminder or tracking system comes in handy.
A medication reminder stores information on when certain medicines are meant to be taken. Meanwhile, individuals can also keep track of dose times by setting a series of alarms on their mobile devices. The alarms will be fixed to times when specific medications are to be used.
A medication calendar can also double as a tracking system, as it provides a chart with each drug name, dose, date, and time. As your loved one takes each amount, they can easily record it on this calendar.
This medication management tip is pretty simple – if your parents or grandparents are on long-term prescription drugs, they should purchase medication refills before they run out to avoid skipping doses.
For more convenience, your loved one should consider purchasing from pharmacies that provide automatic refills. This way, they will get notified each time their medications are ready for pickup, coinciding with when their current pills run out.
The purpose of taking drugs is to elicit healthful responses in the body. However, your older one must maintain good medication management practices to achieve that.
At Seasons Retirement, we prioritize our residents’ health and safety. Our collaboration with CareRx, a reputable provider of unique pharmacy services to older adults in Canada, is intended to help our residents access the medication services they need at the highest level of convenience. By following the steps outlined above, managing medication needs can be effortless and stress-free.