Senior Care and Medication Management
Proper medication management in the elderly population results in better health and adds years to life. On the other hand, mismanaged medications can lead to serious consequences or premature death.
Misuse of medications is a common problem among seniors. Forgetful seniors often take several medications daily, which can be confusing and result in missed doses, medications taken at the wrong time of the day, or even overdoses. Medication mismanagement can cause many serious issues, including disorientation, sleepiness, falls, harmful drug interactions with side effects that mimic another condition (such as dementia), worsening health conditions, or death..
At CarePatrol, we partner with family caregivers to develop effective medication management plans and routines for older adults. We are committed to helping seniors and their families follow prescription medication schedules. Below are some tips for seniors, family members, and professional caregivers to stay on top of proper medication management.
Ways to Stay on Track with Medication Management
Make labels easier to read.
Poor vision often causes many seniors to misread directions in fine print on small prescription bottles. The solution here starts with your pharmacist. Many pharmacies can print larger typefaces on their prescription labels. Simply ask your local pharmacist if this is offered at your pharmacy. If not, consider adding larger handwritten labels to bottle caps or pill organizers.
Get organized — and stay organized!
One popular tool to help people stay organized and on track with medications is the use of pill organizers. There are several types of pill organizers, such as simple organizers with compartments for each day, twice a day and three times per day organizers, or more sophisticated pill organizers which can sound an alarm when it is time to take your meds multiple times per day. Cheap pill organizers can be found at most pharmacies and are also available for order online
During this step, ask for assistance from a friend or family member. Talk to a friend or family member about your medications and see if they can assist you by providing a second set of eyes to verify that your medications are properly organized. This will give you some extra peace of mind.
Discuss medications with your doctor and other health care providers.
Place all of your medications in a box or bag to take with you to every doctor's appointment. While there, cross-check your medications with your doctor. Discuss any side effects you are experiencing or any other concerns you may have, and never stop taking a medication without your doctor’s consent.
Keep a checklist.
Make a list of every medication you are supposed to take, including when you should take it, dosage, reason taken, and if it needs to be taken with or without food. Make multiple copies of the medication list. We recommend keeping one on the refrigerator door and one with you in your purse or wallet at all times.
Always stay ahead of refills.
Always plan ahead for refills, especially before going out of town. Many pharmacies now offer an automatic refill service. This can be helpful even when you are not traveling. At your next doctor's appointment, ask if they can authorize multiple months of refills at once. This will reduce the number of trips you need to take to the pharmacy and help you organize your prescriptions in advance.
Look into senior care communities or in-home care options.
Health aides from in-home care services and senior living communities oversee medication management so that no important medications are ever forgotten.
With several hundred senior living options in most large cities, it can be a daunting task to try to look for a safe option by yourself or on the internet. A local placement agency can help you explore senior living options, assess the level of care needed, and find a perfect fit where things like medication management are part of the services provided.
Placement agencies like CarePatrol provide their services free of charge because they are paid by the home or community which you choose. The options can vary from Independent Living Homes to Assisted Living Homes, Memory Care Homes, and Nursing Homes depending on your needs. Enjoy a custom level of support and supervision determined by a senior living consultant or placement agency like CarePatrol.
How Do Senior Care Facilities Oversee Medication Management?
In nursing homes, helping seniors with medication is an important part of the job. Registered Nurses (RNs) are required to oversee the administration of medication to minimize adverse effects and errors. Medication is dispensed to residents during a "med pass." At this time, the staff will carefully read all instructions to confirm dosage amounts and safely administer prescriptions at the appropriate time of day, and with food if required.
For Personalized Care and Medication Management Solutions, Contact A CarePatrol Advisor Today
If you or a loved one needs help remembering to take medications or accomplishing other daily living tasks, it may be time to consider personal care services with medication management support.
The senior care services available in an assisted living facility or independent living community always include medication management and skilled nursing. Alternatively, in-home caregivers help family members avoid caregiver burnout while still allowing seniors to enjoy the familiarity and comfort of their own home. In addition to medication management, home health care job duties and services offered may include light housekeeping, companion care, meal preparation, specialized Alzheimer's care and memory care, and more.
CarePatrol connects families to the specialized care and in-home caregivers they need. It's our mission to make life easier for families and help their loved ones stay healthy for years to come. Reach out to our advisors now to get connected to the resources you need.