With more than 10,000 prescription medicines available in the U.S., it’s no surprise that so many older individuals – approximately one in three – are taking at least five of them daily. And family caregivers recognize firsthand the struggles of senior medication management. In fact, studies show that approximately 55% of prescription drugs are being taken improperly for a number of reasons, and the results can be extremely harmful.
Minimize the risk for mistakes with these senior medication management tips from Effraim Home Care, one of the top-rated home care agencies in Reading, PA and nearby areas:
Educate yourself on each medicine. If you’re not sure of the proper dosage, management or side effects of a senior’s medicines, ask the health care provider or pharmacist for the following types of information:
- The name of the medicine (brand and generic)
- Why the medicine is being recommended
- The length and duration for taking the medicine
- The correct dosage and time of day to take the medication
- Potential side effects and drug interactions, along with how the medication should be taken (for instance, on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water, etc.)
Additionally, be sure to ask the senior’s physician to routinely perform a medication review to confirm which meds are still recommended and which ones could potentially be stopped.
Prepare an updated list of all medications. Creating a detailed list of all prescribed medications, OTC medicines, and vitamins and supplements that the senior is taking can be a tremendous help at doctors’ appointments. The list should cover all of the information above, plus:
- The shape, size and color of the medication (include a picture of the drug if possible)
- The prescribing doctor’s name and contact information
- The date each medication was first taken, and whether or not it should be refilled and taken ongoing
- The date the list was last updated
As one of the top-rated home care agencies in Reading, PA and the surrounding communities, we can help carry out these senior medication management tips, as well as provide a full range of customized home care services to boost health and quality of life. Contact us at (215) 826-7422 for more information and to find out if our services are available in your area.
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