There are several tips that you can follow for suitable elderly medication management. Some of the best medication management tips for seniors include the following:
Always store everything in a single location
If you have over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, supplements, vitamins, and other medications put them all in a single location. If different things are stored in different places, then you will lose track of the medication that is prescribed along with OTC (over-the-counter) medication, vitamins, and supplements that are being consumed. The best possible solution is to put everything in a single destination and ensure that similar prescriptions are not given for the same ailment. Know when expired medication has to be disposed of.
Ensure there is suitable storage of medication
When it comes to medication for elderly citizens, ensure that medicines are kept in a dry and cool area. Avoid bathroom cabinets since there is a lot of moisture to be dealt with. Medication should be kept away safely from pets and children.
Build and maintain an updated medication list
With regard to medication administration in aged care facilities and even at home, you should always maintain an up-to-date list of medicines being taken. This should have records of every medicine, OTC medicine, supplement and vitamin. Note when each item should be taken, the provider prescribing the medication, the purpose of every item and the symptom that it will treat and whether each item is for long-term or short-term usage.
Pre-sorting of medications for every week
For medication management in aged care facilities and homes, the organization is crucial for ensuring the better health of seniors. An organizer will help adults pre-arrange and sort their medicines on a weekly basis. The best kind of organizer for senior citizens is one that has sufficient compartments that will contain everything they need throughout the day.
Cross-check any instances of negative interactions amongst drugs
Several seniors and older citizens consume multiple vitamins, medications, supplements and OTC medication. Double-check medication for making sure that they will not create negative interactions amongst drugs.
Ensure that instructions for medication are crystal clear
With proper medication, it is vital to follow the instructions of the doctor. This reduces the risks of negative interactions amongst drugs along with other side effects and lowers the effectiveness of the medicines in all. Ensure that you and the senior citizen both have a solid understanding regarding the medications that may be taken simultaneously and those which require spacing out for combating negative side effects. For instance, some medication should be consumed when you are on a full stomach while some medicines require consumption on an empty stomach. You should always consult the doctor for an explanation and instructions.
Medication reminders and tracking mechanisms
With multiple medicines to be consumed, it may be difficult for caregivers and senior citizens to remember the suitable timing of every dose. A system for medication-based reminders and a tracking logbook will help older adults find out whether they are taking suitable medicines at a suitable time. A simpler method is always creating notes with the help of a pen and paper or making your own chart that has the dosage, medicine name, time and date. This may be fixed somewhere and the senior citizen can tick it off likewise. Filling up the chart will help both parties know that no medicines were skipped. Some seniors may also put alarms on their smartphones. Those who are tech-friendly may choose an app for managing medication.
Know about the possible side effects
The side effects of each medicine should be understood carefully. This will enable keeping an eye out for any health-related changes that may take place after new medicines are started by senior citizens, a dose is increased or medications are combined in different ways. Common side effects may include stomach upsets, weakness, pain and risks of falling. Some side effects may also mimic other health ailments such as dementia.
These tips will help you immensely with suitable medication management. Make sure that you also create a provision for timely refills, whenever needed. This will help you maintain a smooth medication system for seniors in the family. In case of a medical emergency with an elderly person, contact Flinders Chemist and benefit from their specialised aged care services.