Medication Management Strategies
Your body changes as you age, and that impacts how you experience life and how you feel. Aches, pains, illnesses and injuries can add up – meaning that you may require several medications to keep up the lifestyle you prefer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least 48 percent of older Americans take at least one medication daily. While this sounds like a simple thing to take care of, medication management can be complicated for many seniors.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are numerous aspects of aging that can affect your use of medications. For some people, changes in your body can change how you respond to and absorb medicines. For others, conditions related to advanced age, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other forms of memory loss can have a negative impact on your ability to remember to take medication and to use it correctly.
For seniors and caregivers, it is important to understand medication management for seniors.
Why is Medication Management Important?
Some of the common causes of misuse of medication include poor communication with caregivers, dangerous interactions between medications and/or foods, and confusing packaging. These are some of the reasons 1.3 million Americans suffer from medication errors and injuries each year. Understanding the value of and strategies for medication management for seniors is important in combating these risks.
Medication management services are designed to help people to manage their medications in way that increases safety and reliability. This service is provided by professionals in many senior living communities, such as Rose Estates Senior Living Community. For residents at Rose Estates and others using medication management strategies, benefits include:
- Improved patient use of medication and improved outcomes
- Reduced side effects and duplication of medications, leading to reduced negative drug interactions
- Reduced deaths and illnesses due to medication misuse
- Decreased medication costs
- Fewer emergency room visits due to incorrect dosing or not taking needed medications
- Reduced stress for seniors and their families
Medication Management for Seniors
So, how do you manage multiple medications? Or help a senior loved one manage medications? A senior care community with a professional team of experts, like those at Rose Estates, is the best way to ensure your loved one is in a safe medical environment. However, no matter where you or your loved one lives, there are medication management strategies to increase your safety:
- Keep all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) in one place. This makes the medication process easier and reduces confusion as to where things are kept. Keep backup or occasional-use medications together in a separate place from daily medications.
- Make sure medication is properly stored. Taking medication that has been improperly stored is dangerous. Read the instructions and store it properly.
- Keep and maintain a medication list. Keeping an up-to-date list will help anyone assisting with medication to prevent negative drug interactions, to manage an accurate dosing schedule and to assist with refills.
- Use the tools available. Items like pill organizers are excellent for sorting and organizing pills for the week. Some pill sorters have as many as 28 compartments to allow you to plan ahead.
- Ensure medication instructions are clear. Before accepting new medications, talk to your provider about potential negative interactions. This also applies to over-the-counter medications – it is important to talk to the pharmacist and use the list of your current medications to verify safety. Once you accept a new prescription, make sure the label is clear and easy to understand.
- Plan ahead. Getting your medications filled on time prevents stress and reduces the risk of missed doses. Talk to your physician and your pharmacy about options to streamline the refill process.
Support and Security
From medication management strategies to supporting a lifestyle that you love, Rose Estates Assisted Living Community is ready to help you find comfort and security. We work hand-in-hand with your family and your physician to create a care plan that allows you to meet your goals and enjoy your day-to-day. Contact us today to request a tour and learn more about our fitness and nutrition services and our individualized care plans.